Turmoil breaks out in Brooklyn after American flag is burned

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Turmoil Breaks Out In New York City After American Flag Is Burned

FORT GREENE, Brooklyn — Shouting, shoving and then emotions erupted. Brooklyn's Fort Greene park looked like a battlefield.

"If you don't like this flag and you don't like this country, leave! Get the hell out, because this is a republic," said Diane Atkins of Bay Ridge.

A scheduled burning of the U.S. flag was eventually brought to a halt by a civilian in Brooklyn on Wednesday evening. The burning, which was scheduled to start at 7:30, went ahead as planned but wasn't able to be fully completed.

See responses to the protests:
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Opposing sides argue at Brooklyn flag burning
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Turmoil breaks out in Brooklyn after American flag is burned
Members of the Hallowed Sons motorcycle club speak against a planned flag-burning event at Fort Greene Park on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The event, organized by activist group Disarm NYPD, was meant to raise awareness of racist violence in the United States. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Activists from opposing sides argue while surrounded by media cameras ahead of a planned flag-burning event at Fort Greene Park on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The event, organized by activist group Disarm NYPD, was meant to raise awareness of racist violence in the United States. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
A member of the Hallowed Sons motorcycle club calls to an activist, at left, who was involved in a planned flag-burning event at Fort Greene Park on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The event, organized by activist group Disarm NYPD, was meant to raise awareness of racist violence in the United States. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Members of the Hallowed Sons motorcycle club arrive to discourage a planned flag-burning event at Fort Greene Park on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The event, organized by activist group Disarm NYPD, was meant to raise awareness of racist violence in the United States. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Amirah Phillips speaks in favor of a planned flag-burning event at Fort Greene Park on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The event, organized by activist group Disarm NYPD, was meant to raise awareness of racist violence in the United States. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Police remove an activist who was involved in a planned flag-burning event at Fort Greene Park on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The event, organized by activist group Disarm NYPD, was meant to raise awareness of racist violence in the United States. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
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As smoke appeared in the park, flag defenders descended to extinguish the American emblem when one flag went up in flames.

That's when civilian John Carroll of Queens came in.

Carroll grabbed the flag from the flaming grill and worked to put it out.

Several fights broke out shortly after, causing police to step in to ease overflowing tensions.

They removed a few people from the park for their own safety.

Police said there were no arrests made.

It was the end result of an effort that drew critics from the very beginning.

Disarm NYPD announced their protest on Facebook several days ago, saying both the American and Confederate battle flags symbolize a history of oppression in the U.S., and flag burning is a legal expression of their views.

But to a retired army sergeant who served during September 11, the American flag has a different meaning.

"Two weeks into being at the Pentagon, a huge American flag was draped over the Pentagon to represent that we were still standing. We're still here," he told PIX11.
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