A Black Lives Matter march in Chicago last night turned into a riot when a group of around 1000 people attempted to pull down a statue of Christopher Columbus. As is often the case, things started peacefully but when police officers surrounded the statue to protect it, the mob got angry.

Dozens of people in the crowd who were clad in all-black clothing rushed the nearby statue, surrounding the short stone wall that circled it. Some began throwing objects, such as cans and fireworks, at the officers. A few people tried to climb over the wall and were met with officers smacking their batons at them.

“This is not the way! … We don’t want them to shoot us,” a man shouted to the group throwing items. He was told by someone in the crowd to back off.

Here’s what it looked like. This video (2nd tweet below) was shot by an independent journalist who got right up close to the wall where police were standing:

Here’s the same thing shot from above. As you can see, most of the items being thrown at police seem to be coming from the group of black bloc goons on the left.

As the police cleared out, the Antifa crew came in and began preparing to pull down the statue.

They succeeded in getting a rope over the statue and spent about half an hour trying to pull it down but did not succeed.

While they were busy with that, a significant number of police reinforcements showed up. They came in and cleared the area using pepper spray.

NBC 5 in Chicago reports that 18 officers were injured in the clash and 12 people were arrested.

Authorities say 18 officers were injured, with some being treated at the scene while others were taken to area hospitals for further evaluation. No updates have been given on the conditions of those officers.

According to police, 12 individuals from the crowd were arrested and could face a variety of charges, including Battery to a Police Officer, Mob Action or other felonies.

Despite the injuries to police and the obviously violent behavior of the crowd, a group of elected officials blamed the mayor and the police for violently dispersing the protesters.

Naturally, the protesters don’t seem to get that removing statues is something that you can lobby elected officials to do rather than showing up as a mob with a rope. As they see it, they were peacefully vandalizing city property and the police pepper sprayed them. Here’s a local news report from WGN9.