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White nationalists hold torch-lit rally in Charlottesville

White nationalists hold torch-lit rally in Charlottesville
White nationalists hold torch-lit rally in Charlottesville
Posted at 4:48 AM, Oct 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-08 00:52:39-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WVIR/CNN) – A group of white nationalists held a torch-lit rally Saturday night in downtown Charlottesville, the first rally of its nature since protests turned deadly in August.

About three dozen people, including well-known “alt-right” white nationalist Richard Spencer, gathered around 7:45 p.m. ET Saturday at Emancipation Park.

The group held Tiki torches and wore white T-shirts as they stood around the park’s shrouded Robert E. Lee statue.

Spencer led the group with a bull horn as they chanted “you will not replace us” and “we will be back.”

Some bystanders screamed back at the group while others looked on silently.

Police stood by, and the gathering ended in less than half an hour with no violence.

The gathering on Saturday night was much smaller than three previous rallies held in the park, a chain of protests that began in May after the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the Lee statue.

Spencer later tweeted at Charlottesville’s mayor, saying, “It was great to be back… We can catch up next time we’re in town.”

“Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards. You’re not welcome here! Go home!” the mayor tweeted.

The rally was the first of its nature since August 12 when 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed and 19 other protesters, countering planned white nationalist rallies, were injured when a speeding car slammed into them.

Copyright 2017 WVIR via CNN. All rights reserved.

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