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Hundreds of Torch-Wielding White Supremacists March at University of Virginia

Aug 12, 2017
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Crowds of torch-wielding white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia in Charlottesville Friday, chanting “you will not replace us” and “vlood and soil.”

Video showed protesters also chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “white lives matter.”

Image: White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia Image: White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia

White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville on Friday. STRINGER / Reuters

According to NBC affiliate WVIR, the marchers clashed with counter-protesters when they arrived at a statue of Thomas Jefferson,, the U.S.’s third president and the university’s founder.

At least one person was arrested and several others treated for minor injuries, according to local newspaper The Daily Progress. Both sides reported being hit with pepper spray, the newspaper added.

Reuters and a number of local reports put the number of protesters in the hundreds. The Washington Post reported that the march lasted between 15 and 20 minutes.

University and local police did not respond to numerous requests for information on the incident.

The Virginia National Guard told NBC News it was monitoring the situation and was ready to “rapidly respond to assist local law enforcement if needed.”

The demonstration came on the eve of another far-right march of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the so-called alt-right movement.

According to The Daily Progress, city police estimate between 2,000 and 6,000 will attend Saturday’s Unite the Right march on Charlottesville.

Friday’s march drew condemnation from local and university officials.

“I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior displayed by torch-bearing protesters that marched on our grounds this evening,” University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan said in a statement. “I strongly condemn the unprovoked assault on members of our community, including university personnel who were attempting to maintain order.”

“The violence displayed on the grounds is intolerable and is entirely inconsistent with the university’s values,” the statement added.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer’s called the demonstration a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism and intolerance.”

He added: “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.”

The King Center, founded by civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow Coretta Scott King, tweeted that “racism never left America.”

Kurt Chirbas reported from New York and F. Brinley Bruton reported from London.

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