Gubernatorial Candidate Holds Rally Outside Charlottesville City Hall
Ahead of a city council meeting, Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart held a rally outside Charlottesville City Hall to denounce council for voting to remove Confederate statues.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As the debate over confederate statues in Charlottesville continues, Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart held a rally outside Charlottesville City Hall Tuesday.
About 100 people came out to that rally, just before Charlottesville City Council Tuesday night. Stewart denounced council for voting to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park and called the councilors who voted to remove the state “fascists” and “tyrants.”
“Robert E. Lee was a great man,” Stewart said.
The rally, which was half campaign and half protest against the statue's removal, attracted people from all over the state.
It's true, we come out - I’m from Richmond myself - however, we do this all over the state to protect veteran’s monuments,” said Barry Isenhour, an organizer with The Virginia Flaggers.
Isenhour says even though council already voted to move the statue, the legal battle is not over.
“A lot of things must take place before they can move the statue,” Isenhour said.
Many people at the rally said they were there to protect the statue and, in turn, protect history.
“Learn history because if you don't, you're gonna repeat it. A lot of times it's not pretty,” said Willie Eberline, who attended the rally. “It’s a matter of history, it's not a matter of racism.”
Another protestor said that as a Jewish man, he feels removing the statue would be similar to forgetting the Holocaust ever happened.
Charlottesville Activist Isaac Smith, a colleague of local author and blogger Jason Kessler, introduced Stewart and said he supported Stewart’s candidacy, in part, because Stewart is involved in Charlottesville’s Lee statue debate.
“He has been more invested than any other gubernatorial candidate and so, I've been very pleased to have him and to support him,” Smith said.
Some of the protestors trickled over to the council meeting at 7 p.m. and made public comments, but the meeting was nowhere as full as the last meeting when that vote took place and councilors did not address the removal of the statues any further.