Saturday, 21 October, 2017

White nationalists march at Virginia University ahead of 'Unite the Right' rally

Robert E. Lee Statue Robert E. Lee Statue
Howard Terry | 13 August, 2017, 00:40

"Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry".

The demonstrations began Friday in Charlottesville with white nationalists marching through town and while carrying lit torches.

Police deployed tear gas against the crowd shortly before 11:30 a.m. Many credit Spencer with popularizing the term "alt-right" as he garnered national media attention after being heard shouting "Hail Trump!" at a white nationalist convention in Washington, D.C., and later, being punched in the face on Inauguration Day while giving an interview.

Donald Trump, addressing the situation from his private golf club in New Jersey, declined to condemn white nationalism and instead said the blame for the violence lies with "many sides".

The Unite the Right rally is scheduled to take place Saturday at McIntire Park in Charlottesville, the city said on its website.

After the crowd was dispersed, dozens of law enforcement officers clad in riot gear were seen patrolling the streets, with small clusters of protesters gathered in pockets in the surrounding streets. It was one of many displays of unvarnished racism and hate from rally attendees.

Ralph Northam, Virginia's lieutenant governor and the Democratic nominee for governor, bemoaned that Charlottesville was once again the scene of a white supremacist rally.

"Kessler sued, saying the change was a free speech violation". No good comes from violence.

Approximately 500 protesters were on-site, with more than double the amount of counterprotesters, according to reporter Sandy Hausman of member station WVTF and Radio IQ.

However, the town has become a focal point for white nationalists after the city council voted to remove a statue of General Lee.

Though they were outnumbered by hundreds of jeering counter-protestors, images of the extreme right marchers - some donning the traditional white hood of the notorious white power group - spread worldwide. The team says it "vehemently" disagrees with and is not associated with the event.

Violence between counter-protesters and white nationalists is expected today. Police believe the rally could attract up to 6,000 people, CNN reported.

Klan members salute during a KKK rally in Charlottesville, July 8, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.

Prior to the actual rally Saturday morning, the mood appeared to be tense in Charlottesville.

The city has plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park, which was formerly known as Lee Park, according to the complaint. Thousands of people are expected to pack the area.

Last night, a large group of torch-bearing white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus.

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