Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Protesters clash in Virginia city on eve of white nationalist rally

Protesters clash in Virginia city on eve of white nationalist rally

The so-called alt-right is a white nationalist movement that is an offshoot of conservatism that mixes mixing racist and populist elements.

The civil rights groups argued the move violates Kessler's right to free speech, because the rally is meant to be a protest of the City Council's decision to remove the statue of confederate General Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.

"While the City is disappointed by tonight's ruling we will abide by the judge's decision", the city said in a statement late Friday.

Earlier this week, city officials had tried to "modify" the rally's permit to move the demonstration more than a mile away to McIntire Park, citing safety concerns associated with the number of people expected to attend the rally and counter protests.

Attorneys for the ACLU Foundation of Virginia and The Rutherford Institute filed the injunction on behalf of Kessler.

Hundreds of white marchers with blazing torches clashed briefly with counterprotesters on the Charlottesville campus of the University of Virginia on Friday, the eve of a rally planned by thousands of white nationalists, media said.

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We are grateful that the court recognized that the First Amendment applies equally to everyone regardless of their views. We encourage everyone participating to commit to non-violence and peaceful protest.

Klan members salute during a KKK rally in Charlottesville, July 8, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.

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The march came hours before a Saturday rally that police anticipate will attract as many as 2,000 to 6,000 people, in an event that could be the "largest hate-gathering of it's kind in decades in the United States", as described by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe says he would prefer that no one shows up at all.

"This morning, I was briefed for the second time this week by public safety officials in my cabinet, the Virginia State Police, the National Guard, and the Department of Emergency Management on their preparations for tomorrow's rally in Charlottesville".

"When I think of candlelight, I want to think of prayer vigils". But it is also the right of every American to deny those ideas more attention than they deserve.

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