White supremacists carry torches and chant Nazi slogans at rally in Virginia

Hundreds of white supremacists carrying burning torches and chanting Nazi-era slogans rallied in Virginia on Friday night before violently clashing with counter-protesters.

The brawl at the University of Virginia came ahead of a much larger rally planned for Saturday, when thousands are expected for what monitors described as the "largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the US".

The "alt-Right" demonstrators gathered late on Friday and chanted "blood and soil" and "one people, one nation, end immigration" as they carried burning torches through the university campus.

"Blood and soil" was a phrase commonly used by the Nazis to hail their ideas about racial superiority and traditional rural life.

The mostly male crowd marched through the empty campus in Charlottesville and rallied around a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who designed the university's grounds.

There they clashed with a small group of counter-protesters, who had linked arms around the statue. Several people were injured as punches were exchanged and pepper-spray was fired.

Mike Signer, the mayor of Charlottesville, called the white nationalist march "a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights".

Larry Sabato, a professor at the university, said it was "the most nauseating thing I've ever seen" in his 47 years of being associated with the university.

Richard Spencer, the provocateur credited with coining the term alt-Right, was also at the rally.

The torch lit scenes on the university campus may be only a foreshadowing of the much larger demonstrations expected on Saturday at the Unite the Right rally - which is expected to bring together different factions of the alt-Right.

Police expect that between 2,000 and 6,000 demonstrators will gather in Emancipation Park around a statue of Robert E Lee, a Confederate general during the American Civil War.

White nationalist protesters have angrily opposed plans to take down statues of Lee and other Confederate figures who fought for the cause of slavery during the war.

The demonstrators accuse local governments of trying to erase history by removing the statues and often chant "you will not replace us" as they rally around the statues.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks extremist organisations in the US, said that Saturday's rally may be the "largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the US".

The city of Charlottesville had tried to get the protest moved to another park but the rally organisers sued and a judge ruled they must be allowed in Emancipation Park.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a civil liberties group, supported the nationalist demonstrators in their suit, saying that freedom of speech "applies equally to everyone regardless of their views".

The ACLU has previously defended the right of the Ku Klux Klan and other extremist groups to hold rallies.

The governor of Virginia has urged people to stay away from the rally and not to take part in counter-protests.


More Related News

'We Get Out Here and Disrupt.' More Than 140 People Arrested Amid Protests in St. Louis
'We Get Out Here and Disrupt.' More Than 140 People Arrested Amid Protests in St. Louis

Protests shut down businesses and large corporate offices

Protests resume after 80 arrests in St. Louis unrest
Protests resume after 80 arrests in St. Louis unrest

A racially mixed crowd of demonstrators locked arms and marched quietly through downtown St. Louis Monday morning to protest the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect, ...

Dozens Arrested During St. Louis Protests
Dozens Arrested During St. Louis Protests

Hundreds of police in riot gear have been mobilized and dozens arrested

Riot police break up St. Louis protest over officer
Riot police break up St. Louis protest over officer's acquittal
  • US
  • 2017-09-18 02:40:21Z

By Valerie Volcovici and Kenny Bahr ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - St. Louis police in riot gear broke up a protest that turned rowdy on Sunday night with property damage including broken storefront windows, ordering protesters to disperse and detaining several people including news photographers. Demonstrators gathered for the third straight night to protest the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, 36, of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.