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Demonstrators disrupt white supremacist gathering

WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (CNN) -- Demonstrators attempting to enter a room where a white supremacist was talking Saturday were turned back by police using pepper spray. No one was injured and no one was arrested.

The Rev. Matt Hale of the World Church of the Creator spoke Saturday afternoon to a public gathering in the Wallingford Public Library's community room, said Wallingford Police Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Curran.

Citing fire safety concerns, police allowed in only 150 people, though hundreds more were there, most of them from groups opposed to the church's teachings, Curran said. Using a metal detector to screen the audience, police discovered several knives and a loaded handgun -- the owner had a permit.

Still, the town's 46 police officers were backed up by 60 state police. "We received specific information that some of the counter groups were advocates of violence and civil disobedience," he said. "At times, they were a bit unruly."

Hale spoke for about two hours. Those who did make it inside the room had a difficult time hearing him, because of noise made by protesters, most of whom were young people from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

At one point, the overflow crowd not allowed in the room stormed the police "in an effort to get into the common room in a disorderly fashion."

Police used pepper spray to turn back the protesters.

Less than half a mile away, about 1,200 people attended a separate, peaceful service denouncing racism.



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