FORKS, Wash. — Authorities are investigating after a multiracial family camping on the Olympic Peninsula was harassed and confronted by people who accused them of being part of Antifa, a political protest movement opposing fascism and other extreme right-wing ideology, notorious as violent counter-protesters.
The Clallam County Sheriff's Office says the family of four arrived Wednesday in Forks, Wash. from Spokane and went to a local store to get camping supplies, where they were confronted by "seven or eight car-loads of people" in the parking lot.
"The people in the parking lot repeatedly asked them if they were 'ANTIFA' protesters," according to a release from the sheriff's office. "The family told the people they weren’t associated with any such group and were just camping. The family had to drive their bus around vehicles in the parking lot in order to get back onto Highway 101."
Officials say at least four vehicles followed the family and two of the vehicles had people in them carrying what appeared to be semi-automatic rifles.
The family eventually made it to their campsite off of Sitkum Sol Duc Road (locally known as the A Road) and set up their camp. But officials say the family became concerned for their safety after hearing gunshots and power saws down the road from where they were camping, so they decided to pack up and leave.
As they drove down the road, the family discovered someone had fell trees across the road, preventing them from leaving.
The family called 911 for help.
The sheriff's office says as deputies were responding, they were contacted by four Forks High School students, who used their own chainsaws to clear the roadway for the family.
Deputies escorted the family, consisting of a husband and wife, their 16-year-old daughter, and the husband's mother, to the sheriff's department for their safety and eventually helped them continue on with their travels.
The Clallam County Sheriff's Office says it's conducting a criminal investigation into the incident and is seeking any and all information regarding the people involved.
If you have any information, contact the Clallam County Sheriff's Office.