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10 Injured During White Nationalist Rally in California

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Sacramento rally injuries Image Source: 10tv.com
  • The Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) whose leader describes it as a “white nationalist” group, had a permit for an afternoon rally near the state Capitol
  • It was unclear how many TWP members participated, but they were clearly outnumbered.
  • The TYN was believed to be a small group established in 2013

Ten persons were stabbed outside the state capitol in Sacramento, California, after violence broke out between a white supremacist group and counter-protesters, authorities said.

Two of the injured had critical stab wounds, Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Chris Harvey said.

The nine men and one woman were between 19 and 58, the fire department said, adding all had multiple stab and laceration wounds, CNN reported.

The Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) whose leader describes it as a “white nationalist” group, had a permit for an afternoon rally near the state Capitol, said Officer George Granada, California Highway Patrol public information officer with the Capitol Protection Division.

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Another group showed up “to stop them from carrying on their permit”, he said.

“They (counter-protesters) showed up ahead of time in a large group, probably 300 or more,” Granada said.

“They were positioned around the Capitol to stop them (TWP demonstrators) from carrying on their permit.”

Anti-fascist counter-protestors parade through Sacramento after multiple people were stabbed during a clash between neo-Nazis holding a permitted rally and counter-protestors on Sunday at the state capitol in Sacramento, California, United States, June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Max Whittaker
Anti-fascist counter-protestors parade through Sacramento Image Credits: REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Around 11.45 a.m. PT, TWP members and supporters came out to a location south of the Capitol building, he said. It was unclear how many TWP members participated, but they were clearly outnumbered.

Video showed people running and being pursued by others with sticks. Some of the people hid their faces with scarves and masks.

However, the identities of the victims remain unknown.

The TWP called off its rally and a group of counter-protesters remained on the scene for about an hour. So far, nobody has been arrested, authorities said.

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The TWP claims to be “America’s first political party created by and for working families” and states on its website that “European-American identity is under constant attack by members of American institutions such as the state, education, culture and even churches.”

The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), a non-profit organisation that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination in the US, reveals that the TWP was formed in January of this year as the political wing of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), an umbrella group that aims to indoctrinate high school and college students into white nationalism.

The TYN was believed to be a small group established in 2013. (Source: IANS)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This is really insensitive. Ten people were stabbed in rally and no one came to their rescue.

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California Wildfire of 2017 Caused By Homeowner Equipment: Agency

In the report released Thursday by the state, one witness reported seeing a transformer explode. Another reported seeing the fire approach a PG&E power pole.

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California
An aerial view of properties destroyed by the Tubbs Fire is seen in Santa Rosa, California, Oct. 11, 2017. VOA

In a long-awaited report, state investigators said Thursday that a 2017 wildfire that killed 22 people in Northern California wine country was caused by a private electrical system, not equipment belonging to embattled Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.

The state firefighting agency concluded that the blaze started next to a residence. It did not find any violations of state law.

“I eliminated all other causes for the Tubbs Fire, with the exception of an electrical caused fire originating from an unknown event affecting privately owned conductor or equipment,” CalFire Battalion Chief John Martinez wrote in his report.

Some details about the property, including its owner and address, were blacked out of the report. It said the Napa County property about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Calistoga was built in 1946 on about 10.5 acres (4.2 hectares) with a wine cellar, pool and several outbuildings.

Wildfire
A statue stands among the remains of a home destroyed by the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, Calif., Oct. 10, 2017. VOA

PG&E said in a Jan. 2 court filing that it believed a handyman performing unlicensed electrical work started the wine country fire. In that filing, it identified the owner of the Napa County compound as Ann Zink. The utility said it provided electricity to Zink’s property by a line that connected to a service riser but that Zink had a private system to carry power to other buildings as well as equipment such as a water pump and water storage tank.

PG&E said it had no responsibility to maintain or inspect the private system.

Zink, 91, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017 that her house was unoccupied at the time of the fire and she was at her other home in Riverside County when the blaze began.

PG&E bankruptcy filing

The Tubbs Fire was one of more than 170 that torched the state in October 2017. It destroyed more than 5,600 structures over more than 57 square miles (148 sq. kilometers) in Sonoma and Napa counties.

PG&E previously said it plans to file for bankruptcy protection next week, citing billions of dollars in potential damages from lawsuits linking its equipment to other deadly blazes for which it has been determined to be at fault.

Fire, CLimate Change, California, fossil fuels
Firefighters battle a wildfire as it threatens to jump a street near Oroville, California. VOA

The company said in a statement that despite Thursday’s finding, PG&E “still faces extensive litigation, significant potential liabilities and a deteriorating financial situation.”

Gov. Gavin Newson said it’s up to PG&E to decide whether to move ahead with a planned bankruptcy given that more than half of its expected damages stemmed from the 2017 Tubbs Fire.

He said his goal is not to rescue PG&E but to make sure victims are made whole, that the state has “safe, reliable and affordable service” and that rate payers “are not paying the price of the neglect” that has been established in past wildfires.

Newsom also said he doubts the report will end litigation related to the wildfire.

Michael Kelly, an attorney for victims of the fire, said the findings wouldn’t have much effect on the lawsuits he has filed.

“We’re going to stick by our guns,” Kelly said, adding that there are still questions about why PG&E didn’t cut power to the area despite a high fire danger. He said there is also evidence that contradicts the findings of state fire investigators.

California, Fire prevention, wildfires
A firefighter sprays the smoldering remains of a vehicle on Interstate 5 as the Delta Fire burns in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, VOA

Reform, compensation

Trading of PG&E Corp. stock was halted twice after news about the cause of the fire prompted a surge of buy orders. Once trading resumed, the price rocketed up, closing up $5.96, or nearly 75 percent, at $13.35 a share.

A state senator said that just because a private electric line caused the wine country fire does not let the utility off the hook for the role of its equipment in other devastating fires in the state.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, a Napa Democrat, cited system-wide issues plaguing California’s largest utility.

Lawmakers are under pressure to find a solution that addresses utility reform and compensates wildfire victims.

Also Read: urance Claims From California’s Wildfire At $9 Billion

“This underscores the idea that we all have a role to play in wildfire prevention,” said Dodd a frequent critic of PG&E, who noted that the company has already been found at fault for more than a dozen other Northern California wildfires.

In the report released Thursday by the state, one witness reported seeing a transformer explode. Another reported seeing the fire approach a PG&E power pole.

One witness, Charlie Brown Jr. of Calistoga, said the electrical wiring leading from the property where investigators concluded the fire started had not been used in years. (VOA)