GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- An energized crowd converged onto Rosa Parks Circle as people joined in unity and discussed the dangers of racism in America.
While it was peaceful, there were controversial moments and tension.
Some people took aim at the wealthy and another hung an American flag upside down and began reciting the socialist anthem. It was also about the time, a few self proclaimed anti-government patriots showed up, openly carrying guns and were asked to leave.
“Please leave now, go. Please leave now, go. Please leave now, go.”
The crowd shouted at the Three Percenters, an American Patriot Movement during the the anti-violence rally in downtown Grand Rapids.
It comes one day a woman was killed after a driver plowed into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. Two State Troopers were also killed while their helicopter crashed near Charlottesville. The pair had been assisting with public safety resources during those clashes.
"We are an all lives matter organization," said Christopher Gargus, with the Three Percenters. "We care about everybody."
Those with the Three Percenters say they care about the people who attended the rally downtown, as well as protecting free speech.
“Well freedom of speech is freedom of speech," said Gargus. "People have the right to say what they want. Now people receive it differently, and it’s their choice how they receive it. Whether they are offended by it and what action they want to take afterwards.”
When the socialist anthem was played the American flag was displayed upside down.
Many people reported they were upset that the rally diverted away from its intended goal.
“I believe that there is a time and a place for things like that, " said Ryan Jeanette. "If it took away from the momentum then of course it would have been a bad thing.”
However, one person who spoke to FOX 17 defended the group's right to speak out at the rally.
“I know the whole idea of it was not to hijack that portion of it. The whole idea was for the unity of the rally." said Tyjuan Thirdgill, of Progressive Democrats of America.
"So, it’s them taking their white privilege and their platform and speaking to people who share the same views as them and as it relates to socialism," continued Thirdgill." "In my opinion, that was an appropriate thing, because it allows people who relate with socialism to know that their group is supporting this and maybe I should too.”
Demonstrators said the most important thing was that their thoughts were discussed and their voices were heard.
The crowd eventually marched to Ah-Nab-Awan Park for a vigil.
"I think it was very important that people come together in West Michigan about what happened in Charlottesville because what negatively impacts one part of our nation ultimately us as a whole," said Dain Gates, of Grand Rapids United Progressive.
"I never reject your right to protest. I can object disagree with what you are protesting, but I would never advocate for anyone taking away your freedom of speech.”