Virginia KKK Rally Countered by 1,000 Protesters

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A KKK rally in Virginia was met with a swelling protest on Saturday.

An estimated 50 Klan members gathered in Charlottesville to express objection to the city council’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Lee Park, which has now been renamed Emancipation Park.

The statue has stood since 1924, but has recently become the subject of debate as some consider the display to be racist and “an emblem of white supremacy.” An injunction has currently stalled the removal until a court hearing in November.

“The liberals are taking away our heritage,” James Moore of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan told the Washington Post prior to the event. “By taking these monuments away, that’s what they’re working on. They’re trying to erase the white culture right out of the history books.”

KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke also urged his Twitter followers to attend the rally.

However, an estimated 1,000 people also turned out on Saturday to stand against the Klan.

Some KKK members wore traditional white or black garb and hoods, and held out their hands in Nazi salutes. Chants of “white power” could also be heard, according to video footage recorded by attendees, and one member held a sign claiming through the citation of Scripture that “Jews are Satan’s children.”

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But members of the public also held signs such as “Racism destroys lives,” “Jesus said love your neighbor” and “Love trumps hate,” as they lined the streets surrounding the rally. Many counter-protesters were members or supporters of Black Lives Matter as they held signs or wore t-shirts bearing the movement’s name, and chanted the slogan in unison.

Police were on hand on control the chaos and placed barricades around the statue as a precaution. Some officers were dressed in riot gear as they created a human blockade in the street.

However, when members of the KKK sought to leave the event, some counter-protesters allegedly blocked their vehicles and refused to move when asked by police. Officers soon sought to disperse the gathering, and the environment became even more tense as “there were a number of incidents, including the use of pepper spray by the crowd,” according to Charlottesville spokesperson Miriam Dickler.

Tear gas was then utilized to force the crowd to leave the area. In all, 23 people were arrested.

Charlottesville’s mayor, Michael Singer, had urged the community to ignore the KKK. Church leaders had also hoped residents would spend the day elsewhere.

“Our approach all the way through, from our police chief on down, has been to urge people not to take this totally discredited fringe organization’s putrid bait at all,” he told the Washington Post. “The only thing they seem to want is division and confrontation and a twisted kind of celebrity.”

“The most successful defiance will be to refuse to take their bait and continue to tell our story. Then their memory of Charlottesville will be of a community that repudiated them by not getting drawn into their pathetic drama,” Singer said.

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  • KKK / Black Live Matter: two sides of the same coin.

    • Etranger

      Don’t really understand the movements or the coin do you? lol

  • Paladin Roy

    Seems like what should have been just a pliain memorial has been turned into an idol.

  • FoJC

    More evidence that the “alt right” had little effect in the 2016 POTUS election. Small numbers, even added state to state, isn’t what elected Trump.

  • I’m glad the protesters ignored the mayor’s advice to ignore the KKK. Those guys are wacky and they needed a strong rebuke from the community.

  • Trilemma

    The signers of the Declaration of Independence were white and many owned slaves. Does that make the Declaration of Independence “an emblem of white supremacy?” General Grant was an alcoholic. Does that make the fifty dollar bill an emblem of drunkenness? These efforts to remove all history are getting ridiculous.

    • Not all the Signers owned slaves and the ones who did were either conflicted or just plain blind to their hypocrisy. Man stealing and slavery is part of our history and it should be remembered so we don’t repeat it, but for goodness sake, if a community wants to remove a monument, then why not let them?

      • Trilemma

        If a majority of the community wants the monument removed then it should be removed. The article didn’t say what the majority wants.

        • Worf

          The United States is a democratic republic. Democratic because we vote for representation and a Republic because the people are the power, and the minority are protected from the will of the majority.

          • Trilemma

            All true. Should the statue be removed?

          • Worf

            Yes, regardless of what the majority want. (thank goodness in this case it looks like the majority is on the proper side)

            We should not be celebrating violent racism and a traitor to our country.

          • Trilemma

            I’m totally against any type of celebration of racism. I just don’t see this statue as a celebration of racism. If it were a celebration of racism, how has it managed to remain for almost 100 years and how did it survive the sixties? Shall we blow up Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia?

    • Worf

      “As much as I value an union of all the states, I would not admit the southern states into the union, unless they agreed to the discontinuance of this disgraceful trade, because it would bring weakness and not strength to the union.”

      “The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind.”

      -George Mason, founding father

    • RWH

      Yes, but none of those people burned crosses or lynched people.

      • Trilemma

        I wasn’t aware Robert E. Lee did those things.

  • InTheChurch

    please someone explain

  • Tangent002

    “They’re trying to erase the white culture right out of the history books.”

    What is ‘white culture’?

    • Trilemma

      Yogurt?? He should have said ‘Southern culture,’ but, KKK, so what did you expect?

  • Stacy Sedgewood

    I know that in places like China and Korea, there are memorials for war atrocities committed by Japan that Japan is still trying to deny (comfort women, the Rape of Nanking). While I believe people have the First Amendment constitutional right to freedom of expression, what is very dangerous is the revisionist history the KKK subscribes to.