University Of Virginia March Sees White Nationalists Carrying Torches Clash With Counter-Protestors
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The group moved through the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, shouting things such as “Jews will not replace us”, “white lives matter”, the BBC reported.The “alt-right” protest was over plans to remove a statue of confederate General Robert E Lee.
The marchers surrounded a church, where many of those worshipping were black, prompting some to express their fear on social media.
They are coming for the church!Police all around. They won't let us go outside. Y'all these KKK are marching with torches!— Traci Blackmon (@pastortraci) August 12, 2017
There were scuffles between the demonstrators and counter-protestors, with some claiming the pro-statue protestors attacked the counter-demonstrators
Although pepper spray was used on a number of people, it was unclear if this was deployed by police.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said: “I have seen tonight the images of torches on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.
“When I think of torches, I want to think of the Statue of Liberty.
“When I think of candelight, I want to think of prayer vigils.“Today, in 2017, we are instead seeing a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights.
“Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here’s mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.”
There were no reports of arrests.Ku Klux Klan supporters staged a march in Virginia last month, but were easily outnumbered by counter-protesters.
The march came ahead of a larger right-wing rally in the city, dubbed Unite The Right, planned for Saturday which between 2,000-6,000 are expected to attend.