Blue Lives Matter rally opposed by Black Lives Matter supporters in Gilbert

A+demonstrator+holds+Trump-Pence+sign+up+on+the+blue+lives+matter+side+of+the+street.

Jason White

A demonstrator holds Trump-Pence sign up on the blue lives matter side of the street.

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

On Thursday evening, supporters of Blue Lives Matter gathered on the northwest corner of Gilbert and Warner in Gilbert, Ariz.  On the south side of the same intersection, a group representing Black Lives Matter had gathered to offer a counter protest.

The Gilbert Police Department was seen on the street directing traffic and gearing up with tear gas rifles to prevent any escalation.  Last week, fights broke out at the same location and three arrests were made, according to an AZ Family article

This week, protesters were not allowed to cross the street at risk of  facing criminal charges.

Although Thursday’s protest ultimately remained peaceful, emotions were still high and participants on both sides carried weapons such as guns and knives. 

North East Valley News spoke with a couple, who would like to remain anonymous, who were on the side of Blue Lives Matter where they expressed their concern on ANTIFA being associated with the Black Lives Matter and “hijacking” their movement to cause destruction. 

“I’m not on any side, until ANTIFA started burning sh*t down and looting and rioting and then I chose a f*cking side,” the protester said.

A  counter protester, who also wished to remain anonymous, gave their opinion about the Black Lives Matter movement being “hijacked” by ANTIFA.

“I feel like the movement (Black Lives Matter) has a very positive message, but the movement has also been deemed negative by a lot of actions done not only by people who support us but by people who don’t support us,” the counter protester said.

Both interviewees spoke about open discussion between the groups to try to come to an understanding and resolve their differences, but neither side was allowed to cross the street to avoid escalation in conflict.