A brawl broke out as hundreds of white nationalists carrying torches marched on UVA's campus

Hundreds of white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters on the University of Virginia’s Charlottesville campus Friday, according to Reuters.

The scene was a prelude to a much larger demonstration for a “Unite the right” rally, called in response to a plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Thousands of white nationalist protesters, as well as groups that oppose them, are expected to descend upon Charlottesville on Saturday.

On Friday night, protesters carried torches and chanted, “You will not replace us,” and “Jew will not replace us,” according to The New York Times.

At one point, marchers gathered around a statue of Thomas Jefferson and a brawl between the two groups broke out. 




The National Guard has been placed on standby in anticipation of Saturday’s rally.

Protesters have already drawn rebuke from leaders in the community. In a Facebook post, Mike Signer, the mayor of Charlottesville, called the demonstrations by white nationalists a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”

The president of UVA, Teresa A. Sullivan, also condemned the “unprovoked assault on members of our community.” 

The demonstration in Charlottesville comes just a month after 23 people were arrested and police deployed tear gas after a Ku Klux Klan rally in the city.

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