CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT/WVIR) –
Dozens of demonstrators in Charlottesville were marching with torches, protesting plans to remove the Robert E. Lee statue.
Mayor Mike Signer said the protest was either “profoundly ignorant” or aimed to instill fear in “minority populations” in a way that harkens back to the days of the KKK, according to WVIR.
“We are not white supremacists,” said statue supporter Orry Von Dize. “We are simply just white people that love our heritage, our culture, our European identity.”
“I feel as though they’re saying the same thing over and over again, and they’re not here for conversation,” said Andrea Rowland, who supports removing the statue.
The Saturday night demonstration came after a similar protest, earlier in the day. In both instances, fights broke out between both sides, and everyone left when police moved in.
However, hundreds came out Sunday night in Charlottesville to show solidarity in support of removing the statue.
The protestors hung a sign from the Lee statue that read “Black lives matter” and denounced white supremacists.
Speakers, including Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, talked to the crowd about that group led by self-proclaimed alt-right founder Richard Spencer.
“You’re not going to drown us out, you’re not going to make us listen to you, there is no such thing as a supremacy, slavery is dead and we just need everyone to realize and recognize that,” Bellamy said.
Tensions ran high after a couple counter-protesters showed up. Police eventually cleared everyone away and even had to throw a person to the ground who was not cooperating.
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