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At Virginia KKK Rally, Counter-Protesters Show Up In Droves

More than 100 people attended a counter-protest the following night.When officials said several people attempted to block their cars, police declared an unlawful assembly around 4:40 p.m. There were a number of incidents, including the use of pepper spray by the crowd, Dickler said. Police asked those still gathered nearby to disperse. It was not clear what they were charged with or whether those arrested were Klan supporters, counterprotesters or some from each group.White supremacists including Richard Spencer rallied in the college town, home of the University of Virginia, for the same reason on May 13. A slate of alternative events was organized to give people other outlets and avoid drawing attention to the Klan. I have said a few times today, this is what democracy looks like. We want to change the narrative by telling the true story of race through public spaces.City leaders and University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan had encouraged the Charlottesville community to avoid the Klan rally.”That we are still allowing this straightforward hate group to still have a voice at this time in this country, it’s just insane”, Fitzgerald said.Amid a string of recent removals of Civil War-era Confederate monuments across the South, the city of Charlottesville made a decision to remove the statue, opting to pull a memorial to the leader of an armed rebellion against the Union ― in defense of slavery and racism, no less ― out of a public space.The city of Charlottesville renamed Lee Park as Emancipation Park and is planning to remove a statue honoring General Lee.The removal of similar statues or Confederate flags has sparked angry clashes with different views about the symbolism of Civil War monuments.This is not the first protest over the removal of the Lee statue. While the battle in Charlottesville was considered a victory for the Confederate government, it came at a cost of Lee’s close ally Stonewall Jackson. The gathering was swiftly condemned by city leaders, who said it evoked images of the Ku Klux Klan.