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Demonstrations against Islamic law led to arrests, tense confrontations and physical fights in some U.S. cities Saturday amid several rallies sponsored by ACT for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as an anti-Muslim hate group.
The "March Against Sharia" was scheduled to take place in more than 20 cities, including New York, Dallas and Atlanta, and was projected to be ACT for America's largest protest against Islam.
In some cities, the rallies were met by counter-demonstrators. Seven people were arrested during demonstrations at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, but no injuries were reported, the state patrol said.
In Seattle, police said officers deployed pepper spray to "break up a large fight" and arrested three near Occidental Park following the protests downtown.
At the end of the rally, a group returned to the park where the melee erupted, according to a police statement. Officers used pepper spray to disperse the crowd and arrested one woman and two men for obstruction, it added.
NBC affiliate KING 5 reported that hundreds of demonstrators had marched in downtown to support Muslims and confront a few dozen people who took part in the ACT for America demonstration at City Hall.
"We are not anti-Muslim. We are anti-radical Islam," said a March Against Sharia speaker outside City Hall, according to the station.