Charlottesville Revisited: White Nationalists Hold New Torch-Lit Protest
REUTERS/ Alejandro Alvarez/News2ShareUS17:44 08.10.2017(updated 17:55 08.10.2017) Get short URL
A few dozen white nationalists staged a brief rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, where violent clashes took places in August. The city’s mayor called the protest “despicable.”
Some 40 to 50 people gathered at Emancipation Park where the statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee stands, according to Charlottesville police. They were led by so-called alt-right activist Richard Spencer and were carrying lit torches.
Spencer published pictures and a video of the rally, showing protesters chanting “You will not replace us” and “We will be back.”
The rally took about 10 minutes. After the rally, the group left the park, boarded a bus and left the city, according to police.
The rally sparked an angry response from local authorities. Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer took to Twitter, calling the protest a “despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards.”
”We are monitoring this situation as we continue to oppose these racists and their message of hate,” Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe wrote on Twitter.
On August 11-12, a major rally of white nationalists protesting the removal of the Gen. Lee Statue took place Charlottesville. The protest subsequently led to violent clashes between the demonstrators and counter-protesters.
During the clashes between the two camps, a car ploughed into the crowd, leaving one dead and nineteen others injured. In total, at least 34 people were wounded in the clashes.
The skirmishes in Charlottesville accelerated the removal of public Confederate monuments in many American cities.
President Donald Trump’s initial response to the Charlottesville violence faced a storm of criticism. The statement of the US president in which he condemned hatred “on many sides” apparently lacked clarity. Both Democratic and Republican politicians claimed that evil must be called by its name and in the Charlottesville violence there can be only one side with this label.
On September 14, Trump signed a resolution that condemned the violence in Charlottesville as domestic terrorism.