Dozens of students, faculty and community members gathered at Carr’s Hill Saturday night to protest the return of white nationalists to Charlottesville, earlier that evening.
The protesters organized after learning that a group of roughly three dozen white nationalists carried tiki torches in Emancipation Park during a rally they termed “Charlottesville 3.0.”
The group of protesters stood outside University President Teresa Sullivan’s residence chanting multiple slogans, including, “Black lives matter,” “Blood on your hands,” “This racist system’s got to go” and “No justice, no peace, f—k the police.”
Some people were holding a banner which read, “Community defense against fascism” and others held posters with “BLM” written in bold lettering.
A woman identified the people gathered as “a group of people of color activists” in Charlottesville and began shouting demands which were then echoed by the rest of the crowd.
They asked that charges against the people arrested protesting a on July 8 and “resisting white supremacy” at the rally be dropped. In addition, they demanded the removal of all Confederate monuments and called for the resignations of Sullivan, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas and all City Council members, among other demands.
About 10 police were present during the entire protest, and stood by for approximately half an hour before making an announcement to the crowd.
Around 11:15 p.m., police said the group had three minutes before the protest would be declared an unlawful assembly. When the countdown expired police announced they would begin arresting people.
“If you do not leave, you will be arrested,” police said over a loudspeaker.
At that point many of the counter protesters left the premises.
The white nationalist rally was held in front of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which the Charlottesville City Council in February.
An ongoing lawsuit, however, has prevented the city from removing the statue. The city has over the statue and that of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in Justice Park.
Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist and , attended the white nationalist gathering and live-streamed a feed from his Twitter account.
White nationalists were in Emancipation Park for 20 minutes, and left shortly after 8:00 p.m. chanting that they would be back again.
Saturday night’s event in Emancipation Park was one of numerous white nationalist gatherings in Charlottesville this year. A was held in Emancipation Park in May and a KKK rally was held in July. White nationalists organized a torchlit Aug. 11 and held the rally in downtown Charlottesville on Aug. 12. The events surrounding the rally ultimately left three people dead and numerous injured.