Troopers separate ‘Anti-Sharia’ and counter-protesters at the MN Capitol, 7 arrested

Things got tense between the two groups.
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Several people were arrested Saturday as scuffles broke out between two groups of protesters at the Minnesota State Capitol.

One group was there to denounce Sharia law – a set of rules laid out in Islam's holy book. The other group consisted of counter-protesters.

ACT for America, which was the group denouncing Sharia, initially met inside the capitol at noon, according to the Facebook event and posts on Twitter. Meanwhile, counter-protesters gathered outside.

But KARE 11 reports some people inside the capitol went out to confront the counter-protesters. And that's when things got tense.

Video footage shows both sides shouting and provoking each other as troopers stood between them.

At one point someone screamed, "Are you scared, fascists? You should be." People outside also chanted "Punch a Nazi in the face," flipped off the opposing group, and hurled other insults.

Videos also showed some altercations involving troopers.

KARE 11's Dylan Wohlenhaus posted this video of officers trying to detain a man and protesters trying to pull the guy away. And MPR posted one of troopers trying to hold back crowds while detaining two others.

Ultimately, troopers ended up escorting the anti-Sharia group away from the counter-protesters as fights broke out, the Star Tribune reports.

According to the Department of Public Safety, seven people were arrested and booked into Ramsey County Jail. They're facing a variety of charges from disorderly conduct to obstructing a legal process. Two also face assault charges.

Authorities say the demonstrations wrapped up just after 2:30 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

The St. Paul event is just one of 27 events ACT for America planned around the country for Saturday.

ACT for America says it’s a national security organization that is “recruiting, training, and mobilizing citizens … to help protect and preserve American culture and to keep this nation safe.”

Critics call it an anti-Muslim group. The Southern Poverty Law Center put ACT for America on its list of hate groups operating in the U.S.

If you want to learn more about what Sharia law is, check out these articles from CNN or the BBC or Oxford University.

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