Protesters flood downtown Durham amid rumors of KKK protesters

Protesters flood downtown Durham amid rumors of KKK protesters
Posted at 12:45 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 09:17:15-04

(RNN) - Amid rumors of a white supremacist rally in Durham, the county closed down government buildings and crowds flooded into to the street to counter-protest.

Twitter and other social media sites lit up with rumors that a KKK rally would begin at noon ET at the court house.

Live streams from local media and social media show a crowd of about 200 people carrying "No hate" signs and chanting “No KKK. No Fascists USA."

A video on Twitter shows a crowd supposedly yelling at four men standing in front of the court house, and the tweet claims they are white supremacists.

Durham County Sheriff MIke Andrew released a statement about the rumored rally:

“The Sheriff’s Office is thoroughly researching the potential of several groups with opposing viewpoints holding demonstrations in Durham. This is partly why the Sheriff’s Office continues to remind demonstrators to first obtain a permit and most importantly, abide by the law. I expect demonstrators to conduct themselves in such a manner that is legal and respectful of the Durham County community. Again, I call upon city and county leaders to establish rules for demonstrators.”

On Monday evening, protesters tore down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from its pedestal in front of a county building. The crowd gathered in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. 

Police charged eight people with a variety of felonies and misdemeanors charges including disorderly conduct, damage to real property and participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500. 

In a show of support, more than 200 people lined up at the Durham County Courthouse the next day to "confess" to tearing down the statue. However, law enforcement used video to identify suspects. 

The country is on edge after white supremacists and white nationalists rallied in Charlottesville last weekend that turned violent and resulted in three deaths. Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others were injured when James Fields rammed his car into a crowd. Fields was photographed marching with a white nationalist group during the protest.

The white supremacists' groups choose Charlottesville because the city council wanted to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. The organizer of the rally, Richard Spencer - who coined the term alt-right - attended school there.

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