Olympia preparing for potential conflicts during Saturday protests

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Two protests planned in Olympia for Saturday have police and city officials preparing for potential conflicts, possibly between members of the Proud Boys and counter-protesters.

A rally believed to be associated with vaccine mandates is planned for noon at the Capital Campus.

At 2 p.m., a demonstration is planned in front of Olympia City Hall in response to a Sept. 4 fight between members of the Proud Boys and a group allied with antifa. During that conflict, someone opened fire, and a man was shot in the ankle.

City officials said they are aware of reports that members of the Proud Boys are expected to take part in demonstrations.

The police department is bringing on extra staff and preparing for any violence that could arise.

“(The Olympia Police Department) has attempted to open lines of communication with each of the groups to ask them to avoid our City and avoid each other on Saturday. While we cannot prevent people from groups like these from coming to our city, OPD will do everything they can to address as quickly as possible any illegal acts and violent behaviors that may happen and to try to keep opposing groups separated from each other,” a news release from the city said.

As police continue to gather information about Saturday’s protests, anyone with information about what is planned or has information about the Sept. 4 shooting and attacks is asked to call Olympia Police dispatch at 360-704-2740 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.