A few dozen KKK members and supporters shouted “white power” at a rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. They claimed to be protesting a city council decision to remove a statute glorifying Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The shouts of “white power” and anti-Semitic signs seem strange if the real reason for their protest was about the “historical” statue rather than racism.
The group was guarded by scores of police and outnumbered by hundreds of counter-protesters who waved signs denouncing racism. The anti-KKK protesters raised their voices in chants and shouts, drowning out speeches from the white supremacists, reported Reuters.
There were no initial reports of violence at the rally that lasted less than an hour. The Klan group that brandished Confederate flags and signs with anti-Semitic messages was separated from crowds by a ring of fencing and a heavy police presence.
The Charlottesville City Council decided to remove the statue from the park, and make plans for a new memorial to remember the city’s enslaved population, but the KKK are obviously strongly opposed.
There is a movement across the United States to remove statues and memorials glorifying Confederate leaders.
Critics of the monuments say they foster racism by celebrating leaders of the Confederacy in the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War. Supporters say they represent an indelible part of U.S. history and part of regional heritage, according to Reuters.
The bronze figures of Lee and his horse, Traveller, atop an oval-shaped granite pedestal has been in the park for nearly a century, the city of Charlottesville said.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)