Hundreds of torch-wielding Nazis chant ‘white lives matter’ during march at University of Virginia
Hundreds of poorly dressed torch-wielding Nazis marched on the University of Virginia campus Friday night chanting white nationalist slogans and assaulting anti-fascist counter-protestors.
The march, dubbed the “Unite the Right: March on Charlottesville,” was organized by criminally convicted Charlottesville local Jason Kessler and his white supremacist group Unity and Security for America. An assortment of alt-right ideologues came out for the affair to bemoan the existence of people of color.
The angry white people started their walk at UVA’s Nameless Field and ended at the Rotunda outside the campus chapel where students were holding an anti-racist prayer. Circled around a statue of the school’s slave-holding founder Thomas Jefferson, the marchers chanted “white lives matter.”
University President Teresa Sullivan issued a tame statement condemning and expressing sadness over the fact that some of the demonstrators espousing the violent eradication of non-white people engaged in acts of violence during the march.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer wrote a more appropriate response on Facebook that described the Ku Klux Klan-evoking event as a “despicable display of visual intimidation.” The full statement:
I have seen tonight the images of torches on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. When I think of torches, I want to think of the Statue of Liberty. When I think of candelight, I want to think of prayer vigils. Today, in 2017, we are instead seeing a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights. Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here’s mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.