Torch-wielding white nationalists return to Confederate monument in Charlottesville
iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — White nationalists returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday night to rally for another time at the foot of Emancipation Park’s statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Local reports said the torch-wielding protesters gathered at the statue, still covered by a black tarp, for about 20 minutes before dispersing.
Alt-right leader Richard Spencer tweeted a video boasting about “Charlottesville 3.0” being a “great success,” and said “we’re going to do it again.”
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer suggested on Twitter on Saturday night that he might take legal action after the latest white nationalist rally.
“Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards,” Signer tweeted. “You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.”
Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards. You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.
— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) October 8, 2017
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted: “We are monitoring the situation as we continue to oppose these racists and their message of hate.”
We are monitoring this situation as we continue to oppose these racists and their message of hate. https://t.co/DHGkA3UMyc
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) October 8, 2017
Republican nominee for governor Ed Gillespie did not have a response as of Saturday night, but Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, released a statement after the rally calling out “the ugly hatred” and Gillespie.
“There is no home, no place, and no safe harbor in the country I pledged to defend for the ugly hatred we saw in Charlottesville tonight,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “I don’t see two sides or very fine people gathered here and anyone unwilling to call out this evil fails our commonwealth. Donald Trump’s equivocation enabled this to happen again, and Ed Gillespie failed to call on the leader of his party to denounce neo-Nazis and white supremacists. There can be no ambiguity from any elected official: white supremacists are not welcome, and they will not win.”
In August, far-right extremists clashed with counterprotesters in Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” rally. Later in the afternoon, a car plowed into a group of couterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen others. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count related to leaving the scene.
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