Protesters with Antifa flags march through downtown Frederick

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Dec. 12—Protesters in black and holding Antifa flags marched through downtown Frederick Saturday evening, snarling traffic and clashing with others while chanting for the dissolution of police departments and increased funding for social programs.

A flyer posted throughout downtown this week encouraged people to come to protest in favor of, among other things, defunding the "new FPD headquarters to pay for social services," removing school resource officers from schools and creating "safe and reliable healthcare for trans, BIPOC and houseless residents" — with BIPOC standing for "Black, indigenous and People of Color."

The flyers indicated the protesters were aligned with the Antifa movement, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League, "is a decentralized, leaderless movement composed of loose collections of groups, networks and individuals." "Antifa" comes from the phrase "anti-fascist."

The roughly dozen protesters blocked traffic while walking through the streets, chanting slogans and engaging with passersby on the street, some who yelled back at the protesters.

The Frederick Police Department said Saturday evening no arrests were made during the protest, but the department would be reviewing video footage to "complete further investigation into complaints brought to us by members of the public to see if any arrests do need to be made," according to an email from spokesman Allen Etzler.

The police department posted its crowd control protocols on Facebook, indicating the three levels of police response to large crowds in public spaces. Etzler said the protest stayed at a level 1, indicating "activities obstructed streets and sidewalks but all other laws obeyed." The official response at this level is to reroute traffic.

Follow Patrick Kernan on Twitter: @PatKernan

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