A planned Charlottesville KKK counter-protest planned for last Saturday ended with tear gas and 23 arrests, but the protesters resisted.
50 members of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK announced that they were going to hold an armed protest in Charlottesville. The were protesting for the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. They gained a permit for the Saturday march and started spreading the word to drum up attention for their cause.
The city pleaded with people not to take the bait, and not give them the attention they wanted.
“Our approach has been that we all, even our police chief, did not to take this totally discredited organization’s putrid bait at all,” Mayor Michael Signer said, according to Joe Heim with The Washington Post. “The only thing they seem to want is division and confrontation and a twisted kind of celebrity. The most successful defiance will be to refuse to take their bait and continue to tell our story. Then their memory of Charlottesville will be a community that repudiated them by not getting drawn into their pathetic drama.”
The city worked to create attractions to draw people away from the rally. However, Black Lives Matter realized that they could use the event to generate attention for themselves, and they organized a 1,000 person counter-protest.
Black Lives Matter groups pushed the event and it drew reporters from across the U.S. To report on the showdown between the two organizations who both promote ethnonationalism.
The Black Lives Matter crowd grew in size early in the day, and from all appearances, it was an anti-police rally rather than a counter-protest to the KKK. The group chanted at the police, they taunted and insulted them throughout the event.
Before the KKK showed up, the police arrested several people in the Black Lives Matter group. After about 40 minutes of spouting white supremacist and anti-Semitic hate speech, the KKK had enough.
Officers escorted the group of 50 KKK members to their cars. Where the 1,000 Black Lives Matter protesters blocked the streets, and some protesters were spraying pepper spray.
Police declared that the Black Lives Matter protesters were an unlawful assembly and repeatedly warned them that chemical agents would be used if they didn’t clear out. Some of the crowd dispersed, and three canisters of tear gas had to be used to clear out the rest.
Reporter Q McCray posted this video on his Twitter account:
— Q McCray (@ABC7Q) July 8, 2017
Article Credit: Bluelivesmatter