Brawls Break Out at Los Angeles Protest Against COVID Vaccination 'Tyranny'

Violent brawls broke out at a planned protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and passports in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, with one person stabbed, according to police.

Hundreds of protesters reportedly gathered outside Los Angeles City Hall from 2 p.m. for the "choose freedom march" to demand an end to "medical tyranny, mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports," according to Fox 11.

They were met by dozens of counterprotesters gathered at the same location for a demonstration that organizers called "no safe space for fascists," according to fliers advertising the counterprotest.

The Los Angeles Police Department arrived at the scene in the afternoon after several fights broke out between the protesters and counterprotesters. No arrests have been made but officials are still investigating the incident.

COVID-19 surge in Los Angeles
A storefront sign reminds people to wear a facemask on July 19, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

One male was treated by the Los Angeles Fire Department after being stabbed amid the violence, according to police.

"We are on scene to maintain order after a fight broke out between antifa and people gathered for the permitted event. We are aware of one male that was stabbed and is being treated by Fire Department personnel," said Captain Stacy Spell, an LAPD spokesperson.

Videos were shared to social media showing dozens of men punching, kicking and throwing each other to the ground. Counterprotesters were dressed in all black, with face coverings, while some anti-vaccine protesters wore apparel referencing former President Donald Trump and the American flag.

"F*** antifa, f*** antifa," one man can be heard yelling in a video shared by television producer Andrew Kimmel.

"Get pictures of all these clowns, get pictures of all these clowns," another yelled as bystanders pulled out cellphones to document the brawls.

Anti-vaccine mandate protesters also gathered in several other states for planned protests this weekend. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Oklahoma state Capitol on Saturday for a "Freedom Rally" against vaccine mandates. "I do not want to see us be mandated for masks or vaccines because that is our right to choose what's best for us," one attendee told ABC-5. "So, that's why I'm here. To support freedom to choose."

There are currently no mandates in any state requiring vaccinations for the general population, but some cities and counties require proof of vaccination from citizens to enter some shops and businesses.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to instruct the city attorney to draft a rule requiring people to show proof for at least one dose of the vaccine to enter indoor public businesses—including bars, restaurants, retail stores, fitness centers and movie theatres.