Lee Statue-Removal Protesters Clash with Supporters at Jackson Park
Tensions were high in Charlottesville’s Jackson Park Saturday afternoon as protesters against the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue took on supporters.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Tensions were high in Charlottesville’s Jackson Park Saturday afternoon as protesters against the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue took on supporters.
"No reason why we can't celebrate the history that has brought us to the glorious future that we are emboldened in now,” protester Orry Von Dize said
Charlottesville's Jackson Park filled with protesters determined to protect what they call their "white heritage."
"We're not white supremacists. We are simply just white people that love our heritage, our culture, our European identity,” Von Dize said.
Hundreds voiced their opposition to Charlottesville City Council's vote to remove the Lee statue in Lee Park. They don't want the Jackson monument to be next.
"I'm here to take part in this great celebration of our heritage and to say 'no' to the city of Charlottesville. You're not going to tear down our statue and you're not going to replace us," Richard Spencer said.
Self-identified “alt-right” member Richard Spencer said the protesters are peaceful.
"Nobody here is committing violence. This is a peaceful demonstration. We're talking about who we are and what we care about," Spencer said.
Others disagreed. "I feel as though their saying the same thing over and over again and they're not here for conversation," statue-removal supporter Andrea Rowland said.
Arguments and a scuffle broke out quickly in Jackson Park once people opposed to the Confederate heritage supporters arrived.
Police soon got involved. Both sides left frustrated by the end of it all and are unsure of what comes next.
"It's an expression of force. It's an expression of occupying a space," Spencer said.
While police did get involved toward the end of the protest, no arrests were made.