About 40 members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan staged a rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, VA, to “make a stand” against the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and rename Lee Park to Emancipation Park.
The rally was held at a statue of another Confederate general, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, in nearby Justice Park.
Although some of the Klan members openly carried weapons, they were surrounded on all sides and shouted down by hundreds of counter-protesters. Dressed in robes, waving Confederate flags, and shouting, “white power,” the Klansmen were escorted to the permitted protest site by lots of police in riot gear.
Police arrested a few anti–Klan protesters for crossing a line set up to keep the two sides apart. The rally ended around 4:30 p.m., when Klan members presumably crawled back into their caves.
The racist rally was seen by many as a precursor to the upcoming white supremacist “Unite the Right” gathering on Aug. 12. Neither event appears to be welcome in Charlottesville, a city of about 50,000 people and home to the University of Virginia.
City officials expect about 400 people to show up to “Unite the Right,” which is being promoted by right–wing blogger Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, and others.
Like Kessler, the KKK used similar idiotic language to announce the Saturday outing, stating on its website:
July 8th in Virginia we will make a stand for our Southern History. They are trying to erase whites and our great culture right out of the history books. The Civil War was not fought over Slavery but over high taxes put on the South by the North. The whites did not make the blacks slaves; their own people captured them and sold them to Jewish merchants and they sold them.
Meanwhile, city officials, civic leaders, and local business owners organized alternative entertainment and other events to demonstrate that they want nothing to do with these batshit crazy rednecks.