3 arrested at gathering denouncing Confederate torch protest
On Saturday, May 13, at 9pm, more than 100 people gathered in at Lee Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest against the removal of the park namesake’s statue, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, BBC reported.
Speakers, including Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, talked to the crowd about that group led by self-proclaimed alt-right founder Richard Spencer.
Charlottesville, Va.’s mayor said a torchlit rally held by white nationalists Saturday night “was either profoundly ignorant or was created to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK”.
Following an altercation between protesters, police said they arrived at the scene and quickly dispersed the crowd without further incident.
There’s no sign that Stewart attended Saturday’s rally, but he has aligned himself previously with some of the Charlottesville-based attendees.
On Saturday, Signer issued a statement saying Spencer and the other protests were either “profoundly ignorant” or meant to instill fear in minorities “in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK”. “We are a Welcoming City, but such intolerance is not welcome here”, Signer wrote.
In a subsequent video posted Sunday, Kessler said the torches were meant to convey “a funeral procession for the dead”.
According to the Charlottesville Daily Progress, the event was short-lived.
It comes amid continuing efforts in the U.S. to remove Confederate symbols, which have intensified in the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting carried out by white supremacist Dylann Roof.
Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, both denounced the display that capped a day of white-pride events that featured white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, a prominent figure in the so-called alt-right, the loosely defined political movement built on the idea that white identity is under attack by liberal multiculturalism.
Plaintiffs in the case posted a statement on Facebook disavowing Spencer’s group, and Saturday’s protests.
The Monument Fund, which is suing the city of Charlottesville over its decision to remove the Lee statue, has since disavowed this weekend’s protests, making clear it had no ties to either of them. “We have a lot of work left to do to counter generations of racial and economic inequality and injustice that have kept people from realizing the full potential of this community”.
A large counter-protest was held Sunday, says CBS Charlottesville affiliate WCAV-TV.
Police made three arrests after several right-wing protesters showed up and a scuffle broke out.
The planned removal of the Confederate monument in Virginia is just one many other cities following suit. Spencer was in the Virginia town to protest the vote, though a court injunction had already resulted in a delay of at least six months until the statue is ultimately removed.
Signer voted against the statue’s removal, saying among other things that he worries “about the impulse to remove, delete, and expunge that which offends us”.
In 1860, 11 southern U.S. states seceded from the Union to protect the institution of slavery, forming the Confederate States of America which led to the American civil war.