White nationalists hold ‘flash mob’ in Charlottesville park
(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Almost two months after a woman died during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalists brandishing tiki-torches returned to “flash mob” the city’s Emancipation Park on Saturday night.
The march, which took place at around 7:30 p.m., consisted of around 40 to 50 marchers, Charlottesville Police said in a statement. Marchers were led through the park by one male using a bullhorn and in unison chanted, “You will not replace us. You will not erase us.”
Footage of the brief rally was posted online by Richard Spencer, an outspoken leader of the so-called “alt-right” movement.
Back in Charlottesville https://t.co/0iwH1CT8sT
— Richard ☝🏻Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) October 7, 2017
The group dispersed after roughly 10 minutes, according to Charlottesville Police.
Spencer was also one of the attendees pictured along with a small group wearing suit coats, white collared shirts and khakis. In a tweet, he claiming the group “came in peace” and called Saturday’s march “Charlottesville 3.0,” saying it “was as success and it was a lot of fun.”
“We came. We triggered. We left,” he said in the post march testimonial. “We did an in-and-out flash mob.”
Charlottesville 3.0 was as success. pic.twitter.com/c18ktP0MWD
— Richard ☝🏻Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) October 8, 2017
After the march, the gaggle of white nationalists boarded a tour bus and, according to Charlottesville police who trailed the vehicle, left the city. Officers followed the tour bus to ensure that the group was leaving the city limits, police said.
“Our department is conferring with city leadership and the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to determine what legal action may be taken in response to this event,” Charlottesville police said.
The rally follows the march and counterprotests that left Heather Heyer dead on August 12 at a white nationalist rally in the city. Heyer died when a car rammed into a crowd of counterprotesters marching through Charlottesville. James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old from Ohio, was later arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
White nationalists also rallied in Charlottesville on May 13 to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy reacted to the rally in a tweet Saturday night.
“It’s clear that these white supremacists are using torches, fire, and hate speech to intimidate our citizens,” he said. “That’s a crime.”
It’s clear that these White Supremacists are using torches, fire, and hate speech to intimidate our citizens. That’s a crime.
— Dr. Wes Bellamy (@DrWesBellamy) October 8, 2017
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe also tweeted about the rally.
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
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