Multiple people were pepper-sprayed after a fight broke out among protestors Thursday afternoon outside of the Downtown San Francisco Hyatt Regency hotel where Chinese President Xi Jinping is staying during APEC, according to authorities.
Officers responded around 1:45 p.m. to Third and Jessie streets where a fight reportedly took place between different protest groups, officials said.
Several people were injured and were treated by paramedics before being released at the scene, the APEC Joint Command Center said. The suspects in the incident fled the scene before the officers arrived.
The incident is the latest fight as hundreds of pro-China and anti-Chinese Community Party protesters held dueling rallies Thursday, waving flags and often yelling at each other on opposite sides of Third Street between Market and Jesse streets outside the hotel.
Another fight broke out around 2:40 p.m. with protestors throwing fists and shoving one another, according to a video shared with The Standard by Lin Kongan—an anti-CCP demonstrator who said he took the video.
“CCP is like Nazi, like Hitler,” said protester Tony Tang, pointing to a flag of the People’s Republic of China, which was cut up and had a swastika painted on it.
Nearly 50 law enforcement officers from the San Francisco Police Department and California Highway Patrol stood between the groups, who were behind waist-high barricades on both sides of the street.
On Wednesday, demonstrators calling for the freedom of Tibet and pro-Chinese government supporters scuffled at the same location, with multiple fights breaking out.
Standing in front of the Hyatt Regency hotel, Harry Chen said he supported the Chinese government out of a sense of patriotism.
“I love my country, I’m Chinese,” Chen said, grasping a flag of the People’s Republic of China.