White nationalist Richard Spencer led a group of protesters who gathered Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. to protest the sale of a statue of Robert E. Lee that stands in a local park.
Spencer led a procession of white-shirted demonstrators through the city during the day, banging a drum and carrying Confederate flags. Spencer was also among a group of torch-wielding protesters who gathered in Lee Park that evening, according to the Charlottesville Daily Progress.
“What brings us together is that we are white, we are a people, we will not be replaced!” Spencer yelled as part of the daytime protest. The procession and gathering was broadcast on Periscope.
Later, a group chanted “You will not replace us!” in a darkened park. But the evening’s protest was brief. “After about 10 minutes, Charlottesville police arrived at the scene following an altercation between protesters. The crowd quickly dispersed with no further incidents, according to police,” The Daily Progress reports.
According to the paper, the Charlottesville City Council voted to sell the Lee statue in April, but a judge put a six-month hold on the sale earlier in May.
Spencer is a University of Virginia graduate who has helped popularize the term “alt-right.” He became well-known as an Internet meme after he was punched in the face on camera in January during President Trump’s inauguration.
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SOURCE: NPR, James Doubek