clear
Thursday August 17th, 2017 5:27PM

Torch-wielding group protests Confederate statue removal

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A group that included a well-known white nationalist carried torches and chanted "you will not replace us" at a weekend protest in Virginia over plans to remove a monument of a Confederate general.

The protesters on Saturday evening called on officials to halt the removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville and were swiftly condemned by the city's mayor, who said the event appeared to hearken "back to the days of the KKK," the Daily Progress newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/2qEzja6 ).

Among those at the protest were Richard Spencer, a while nationalist who popularized the phrase "alt-right" and is a leading figure in a fringe movement that has been described as a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.

"We will not be replaced from this park," Spencer told the crowd at a different rally held hours earlier in Charlottesville on Saturday. "We will not be replaced from this world. Whites have a future. We have a future of power, of beauty, of expression," he said.

Spencer, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, hosted a postelection conference in the nation's capital last November that ended with audience members mimicking Nazi salutes after Spencer shouted, "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" Spencer also has advocated for an "ethno-state" that would be a "safe space" for white people

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said in a statement that Saturday's protest was either "profoundly ignorant" or meant to instill fear in minorities "in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK."

"I want everyone to know this: We reject this intimidation," Signer said in a statement. "We are a welcoming city, but such intolerance is not welcome here."

Erich Reimer, chairman of the Charlottesville Republican Party, said in a statement that the "intolerance and hatred" that the protesters are seeking to promote is "utterly disgusting and disturbing beyond words," The Daily Progress reported.

The debate over Confederate symbols has swept through cities across the South since the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church. The gunman was a self-avowed white supremacist.

In Virginia, Republican Corey Stewart's vocal support for the Lee statue also has pushed the issue into the state's high-profile race for governor. Stewart has pledged that no Confederate monuments would be removed if he is elected.

In New Orleans, workers on Thursday removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the second of four monuments to Confederate era figures the city has voted to remove. Late last month, the city removed a 35-foot tall granite obelisk tribute to whites who battled a biracial Reconstruction government installed in New Orleans after the Civil War.

The Charlottesville City Council voted last month to sell the Lee statue, but a judge has agreed to a temporary injunction that blocks Charlottesville from moving the statue for six months, The Daily Progress reported. The city also plans to rename Lee Park and another park named after another famed Confederate, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Local/State News, Politics, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Former MLB umpire Palermo dies at 67; shooting ended career
Former big league umpire Steve Palermo, whose accomplished career ended when he was shot trying to break up a robbery in 1991, has died
5:41PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Senators look to build off Game 1 win against Penguins
The Ottawa Senators can seize full control of their Eastern Conference final against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a victory in Game 2
5:40PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Spurs' Kawhi Leonard re-injures left ankle, done for Game 1
Kawhi Leonard has re-injured his troublesome left ankle and won't return to Game 1 of the Western Conference finals
5:35PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Experts brace for unstoppable ransomware version
As terrifying as the unprecedented global "ransomware" attack has been, cybersecurity experts say it's penny-ante compared with what might be coming
3:45PM ( 2 hours ago )
Oregon port vote is latest local action on fossil fuels
Residents in an Oregon community are deciding whether to block a natural gas export terminal and pipeline project favored by the Trump administration
3:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
Merkel's party wins vote in rivals' German heartland
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives won a state election Sunday in their center-left rivals' traditional heartland, a major blow to the German leader's challenger in September's national election
2:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Former MLB umpire Palermo dies at 67; shooting ended career
Former big league umpire Steve Palermo, whose accomplished career ended when he was shot trying to break up a robbery in 1991, has died
5:41PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Senators look to build off Game 1 win against Penguins
The Ottawa Senators can seize full control of their Eastern Conference final against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a victory in Game 2
5:40PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Spurs' Kawhi Leonard re-injures left ankle, done for Game 1
Kawhi Leonard has re-injured his troublesome left ankle and won't return to Game 1 of the Western Conference finals
5:35PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Log in, look out: Cyberattack havoc may grow at week's start
An unprecedented "ransomware" cyberattack that has already hit tens of thousands of victims in 150 countries could wreak even more havoc Monday as people return to their desks and power up their computers at the start of the workweek
4:56PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Juventus wastes chance to clinch title with 3-1 loss at Roma
Juventus wastes a chance to clinch a record sixth straight Serie A title with a 3-1 loss at rival Roma
4:53PM ( 57 minutes ago )