DURHAM, N.C. -- Anti-hate protesters flooded downtown Durham on Friday after rumors of a Ku Klux Klan rally circulated online, CBS affiliate WNCN-TV in Raleigh reports.
Police in riot gear faced off with protesters Friday afternoon. At least one activist was arrested and charged with failure to disperse, Durham police said Friday night.
Rumors of a white supremacist rally circulated on social media Friday, and attorney Scott Holmes announced on Twitter that a counter-protest would be held in response to the demonstration.
Holmes is the attorney for the several activists arrested for destroying the Confederate monument in front of the old Durham Courthouse on Monday.
Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said his deputies were investigating the rumors of a white supremacist and KKK rally. Later, the city of Durham said on Twitter that no permits had been issued to any groups.
Responding to the rumors, Durham County closed four buildings downtown, in addition to two YMCA branches.
Hundreds of counter-protesters flooded the streets, chanting "Bull City," "Abolish Hate," "Abolish the KKK" and some choice words for President Trump.
The peak of the protests occurred around 1 p.m., and the demonstrations died down around 3 p.m. Large banners read "we will not be intimidated" and "fighting the Klan since 1905," and a group of resistors carried drums at the center of the crowds. The protesters had gathered in anticipation of a KKK meeting, rumored to convene at 4 p.m.
The event comes as four of the eight protestersappeared in court.
Holmes said his clients have been receiving death threats.
"By phone, by social media, by email, it also appears that folks are calling in false charges against them to police who then have to investigate. So there's a variety of ways in which they are already being harassed," Holmes said.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein told WNCN-TV that he supports the anti-hate protests.
"People are peacefully protesting in support of equality and justice. Like them, I believe that racism and white supremacy are wrong. We have more work to do to live up to the ideal of equality, and I join those who are committed to making this ideal a reality for all Americans," Stein said in a statement.