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Some Americans mark Fourth of July with protests

Andrew Cuomo

As Americans celebrate an Independence Day like no other on Saturday, some are practicing their First Amendment rights by demonstrating about racism, police brutality and President Donald Trump.

Protests from a group called Refuse Fascism were planned for the day in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC.

It would be a familiar scene, since protests have taken place in just about every major city in the country since the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody in April.

About 50 protesters holding Defund the Police and Black Lives Matter signs marched on Dale Mabry Highway and blocked traffic Saturday in Tampa, Florida, police said.

Videos posted on social media corroborated an official statement by Tampa police spokeswoman Vanessa Nettingham.

In Pittsburgh, counterprotesters showed up at a boat parade that was being held in support of President Donald Trump.

Pittsburgh Public Safety reported no violence, arrests or injuries at the opposing protest events that lasted just over two hours in the Riverwalk area along the Monongahela River, according to its official Twitter page.

Trump supporters and counterprotesters were “yelling and cursing at each other,” but there was no violence, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety, which urged people to avoid the area.

Protesters did stop traffic at times, shutting down the Hot Metal Bridge at one point during the protests, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety.

“Public Safety does and will continue to respect everyone’s 1st Amendment rights. However, throwing or dropping objects or suspending signs from bridges is prohibited and will result in immediate arrest. Stay safe, everyone,” Pittsburgh Public Safety said in a tweet.

Pittsburgh Public Safety categorized the counterprotest groups as small on its Twitter page and reported “several Pro-Trump boaters” on the river but declined to provide an official crowd estimate to CNN.

The Trump Team PA political group organized the “4th of July Trump Boat Parade & Salute To First Responders” and promoted the event for several weeks on social media.

In Seattle, two women were seriously hurt early Saturday morning when a car drove onto the shoulder of a closed section of Interstate 5 where protesters were standing, police said.

The suspect in what is being called a “tragic accident” is now in custody and facing multiple felony charges, said Capt. Ron Mead of the Washington State Patrol during a press briefing.

Article Topic Follows: US & World

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