Protesters light torches at Charlottesville park to protest Confederate monument removal

Published: May. 14, 2017 at 10:18 AM EDT
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A large group of protesters gathered at Lee Park in Charlottesville Saturday night to stand against the decision to remove Confederate monuments.

The Daily Progress report the protesters were carrying torches, even chanting "You will not replace us," "Russia is our friend," and "Blood and soil." After about 10 minutes, Charlottesville police arrived at the scene following an altercation between protesters.

In a statement, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said,

"This event involving torches at night in Lee Park was either profoundly ignorant or was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK."
"Either way, as mayor of this city, I want everyone to know this: We reject this intimidation." "We are a welcoming city, but such intolerance is not welcome here."

The Daily Progress reports the crowd quickly dispersed once police arrived.

The protest comes ahead of Monday's Charlottesville City Council meeting, where councilors are expected to decide the remaining recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission.

Read the original report from

in Charlottesville.