The University of Virginia in Charlottesville was the scene of a gathering of alt-righters and white nationalists, who were marching to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The removal of the statue is part of the left’s scrubbing of history they don’t like around the country, and I’m totally against it, but when alt-righters and white nationalists take it up as a cause, it becomes harder to make the case.
The group marched ahead of a demonstration planned for Saturday to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. A federal judge issued a ruling Friday night allowing the Saturday rally to go forward.
Friday’s march began around 10 p.m. at an intramural field and the crowd proceeded to a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the UVA campus. Jefferson founded the university in 1819.
More than 100 alt-right activists, white nationalists and neo-Confederates chanted “white lives matter” as they faced off against counter-protesters at the statue, CBS affiliate WTVR-TV reports.
And the counter-protesters greeted them with “Black lives matter.”
— Tim Dodson (@Tim_Dodson) August 12, 2017
We needed the third option of “All lives matter,” since they took it there.
Violence broke out, with several injuries and at least one arrest.
The white-nationalist protesters are in Charlottesville for the “Unite the Right” rally on Saturday, where officials expect between 2,000 to 6,000 people to attend the protest against the removal of the Lee statue from the city’s Emancipation Park, according to the Daily Progress. More than 1,000 first responders officers will be on hand for the event, the Daily Progress reported.
The rally is being organized by Jason Kessler, a right-wing blogger. Kessler sued the city after officials said the rally must be moved from its planned location in the park. A federal judge sided with Kessler Friday night, ordering the city to allow the demonstration to go forward. The city said in a statement it would abide by the judge’s order.
The march was condemned by the university president, Teresa Sullivan, as well as the mayor of Charlottesville.
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch even remarked on social media, after video of the protesters carrying citronella-fueled tiki torches and chanting “blood and soil” was posted, and it was perfect.
Their tiki torches may be fueled by citronella but their ideas are fueled by hate, & have no place in civil society. https://t.co/himqTMBQnH
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
No. They don’t represent us. They represent a breakdown in civility in this nation.
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center (@TheKingCenter) August 12, 2017