Saturday, August 12, 2017

White Supremacists Demonstrate at Virginia University

A group of white supremacists gathered Saturday at the University of Virginia in preparation for a “Unite the Right” rally, prompting the state’s governor to warn people to stay away from the campus.

The group of demonstrators also rallied Friday night, marching through the campus in the city of Charlottesville carrying tiki torches and shouting slogans like “white lives matter,” in preparation for the larger Saturday event.

As they marched Friday the group of white marchers encountered a group of counter-protesters and a small scuffle ensued. A chemical irritant was sprayed into the crowd and police were able to break up the clash. At least one person was arrested and a few people were treated for minor injuries.

The larger rally planned Saturday is expected to draw crowds of 2,000 to 6,000 people who are upset about the planned removal of a statue commemorating the memory of Confederate Civil War General Robert E. Lee.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe put the National Guard on alert for the rally due to the risk of violence posed by the supremacist group interacting with expected counter-protesters and encouraged people to stay away from the city of Charlottesville, where the rally is taking place.

“I want to urge my fellow Virginians who may consider joining either in support or opposition … to make alternative plans,” he said in a statement.

He also said he gave the security forces instructions to act quickly and decisively if violence breaks out.

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