In this photo taken on August 11, 2017, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by AP)
White nationalists, including alt-right leader Richard Spencer, have returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, to hold a torch-lit rally less than two months after racist violence left one person dead and dozens injured in the small college town.
Spencer led a group of about three dozen white nationalists, who assembled at the base of the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park, chanting “you will not replace us
” and “we will be back,” according to a CBS affiliate.
The white nationalist leader called the gathering “Charlottesville 3.0” and vowed similar events in the future.
“The left wing establishment is built around anti-white policies,” Spencer told the crowd.
The rally only lasted about 20 minutes before the white supremacists dispersed.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer condemned the demonstration in a tweet and said the city was looking into legal options.
“Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards,” Signer said. “You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.”
Police were on the scene, but there were no reports of violence or arrests.
However, elsewhere in the city, three University of Virginia students were arrested during a bicentennial celebration on Friday. The students were displaying a banner that read, “200 years of white supremacy.”
The university has come under criticism over its response to this summer’s white nationalist rallies in the city, with critics urging the school to acknowledge racist parts of its past.
In mid-August, thousands of white supremacists, KKK members and neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” rally. The march soon turned violent. A 20-year-old man plowed a vehicle into a group of anti-hate demonstrators, killing a woman and injuring 20 others.
Two Virginia state policemen responding to the protests were also killed when their helicopter crashed.
Demonstrators carry effigies of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during a protest against hate, white supremacy groups on Sunday, August 13, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by AFP)
The incident renewed a bitter national debate about race relations in the country.
President Donald Trump first blamed the violence “on many sides,” but after pressure against him piled up, he declared that “racism is evil.” The president later defended his initial response.