The Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in protest of the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park. Some of the racist group’s members shouted “white power” and some of them were armed in the open carry state. Confederate flags were held by some of the 50 Klan members and we’re totally sure it’s about their ‘heritage.’
Members of North Carolina’s Loyal White Knights were met with 1000 counter-protesters who surrounded them in Justice Park, about a block away from Emancipation Park where the statue is featured.
As tensions mounted, a large group of law enforcement officers, including members of the state police, set up police lines and later, tear gas was dispersed after law enforcement called it an “unlawful assembly” after counterprotesters inundated the park.
The Washington Post reports:
About 30 Klansmen were escorted to and from the rally by police in riot gear who were out on a hot day to separate the rallygoers and approximately 1,000 counterprotesters who greeted them with jeers. Attempts by Klan leaders to address the crowd were repeatedly drowned out by boos and chants. Some of the Klan members arrived armed, carrying handguns in holsters at their belts.
The KKK members’ chants were drowned about by the counterprotesters’ shouting “racists go home.”
Three people were reportedly taken to the hospital — two for heat-related issues and one for alcohol usage, and 23 people were arrested but it’s not clear if they were with members of the Klan or counterprotesters. Although, a woman who was arrested can be seen in the video above chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ while being taken away in handcuffs.
The council voted to remove the statue but a court order stopped the city from acting on that decision until a hearing next month.
The Klan said the city’s decision to remove the statue is part of an effort to “erase white culture.”
“They’re trying to erase the white culture right out of the history books,” said Klan member James Moore.
As for the KKK members who held Confederate flags, ” when Robert E. Lee surrendered he urged his followers to put the battle flag away and he even refused to be buried in his Confederate uniform. Lee’s family members refused to allow anyone dressed in the Confederate uniform to attend his funeral. (There’s a good article about General Lee here.)
Reminder: Every white supremacist group across the board supported Donald Trump’s election.
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Featured image via screen capture via the Washington Post.