Tensions high after clashing protests in St. Petersburg, with potentially more on the way

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg leaders are calling for peace ahead of what they say could be dueling protests this weekend, as many in the city are concerned saying tensions are at an all-time high.

A “MAGA protest” is scheduled for Saturday on the heels of last weekend when a similar rally caused a violent clash with another group of protestors.

Police said the clash between groups of conflicting protesters happened Saturday night on 5th Ave North near Beach Drive.

They released new videos and pictures, hoping for the publics’ help identifying three people, one man with a gun and two with knives.

8 On Your Side spoke with a law firm representing a peaceful protestor for civil justice who says she got a concussion from the man with the gun. Police said no one reported gun or knife injuries.

“As far as modern times, yes, this is as tense I have experienced,” said Reverend Andy Oliver with Allendale United Methodist Church.

Reverend Oliver said for months he’s marched in solidarity alongside peaceful protestors for civil justice, now he’s worried.

“One of the white supremacists has made a series of Facebook posts targeting different protestors. One of those posts has pictures of myself, my family, my children are on it,” said Reverend Oliver,

After reading threatening comments, he’s taking precautions to protect his family.

The Community Patriots Tampa are hosting a MAGA rally downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. 8 On Your Side attempted to contact organizers about their intentions, but no one answered.

Organizers for the civil justice protest told us they plan to be far away.

“I know that people will show up for love and to resist hate,” said Reverend Oliver.

Many are hoping to avoid another scene like last weekend.

The MAGA rally is scheduled for 7:30 pm-9:30 pm Saturday night, meanwhile, organizers of the peaceful protest for civil justice said their intention is to avoid clashing so they’re considering having their event Saturday morning, they say details will be released in the coming days.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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