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Group Holds 'Take Back Lee Park Rally' in Response to Torchlight Protest

Posted: Updated: May 14, 2017 11:54 PM
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Hundreds of peaceful protesters in Charlottesville are denouncing a demonstration by a group they call "white supremacists".

Sunday night’s rally in Lee Park comes in response to this scene that played out in the park Saturday, May 13, where, dozens of people with torches, including a prominent white nationalist, gathered around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to protest the city's plans to remove that monument.

People started gathering in the park around 8 p.m. There was a sign hanging from the Lee statue that said "Black Lives Matter” and “[Expletive] White Supremacy."

Speakers, including Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, talked to the crowd about that group led by self-proclaimed alt-right founder Richard Spencer.

"You're not going to drown us out, you're not going to make us listen to you, there is no such thing as a supremacy, slavery is dead and we just need everyone to realize and recognize that," protester Don Gathers said.

"i just wanted to come and replace last night's vibe with a different kind of energy and a totally different message that this is what Charlottesville is really like," protester Sarah Silverstone said.

Tensions ran high after a couple counter-protesters showed up, police eventually cleared everyone away, and even had to throw a person to the ground who was not cooperating.

Charlottesville police say three people total were arrested by the end of the night. One was Jason Kessler, a blogger who has attempted to remove Bellamy from office. One other was arrested for assaulting a police officer, and another for spitting on Kessler.

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