NEWS

Ku Klux Klan Protest Met With Anti-Racism Demonstrators In Charlottesville, Virginia

10/07/2017 07:28 SAST | Updated 10/07/2017 08:39 SAST

Ku Klux Klan demonstrators were met with counter-protesters in Virginia on Saturday over a dispute regarding the removal of a statue.

Supporters of the white supremacist group marched on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee, who oversaw the pro-slavery Confederate forces in the US civil war.

Police manned the march and KKK supporters were separated from opponents by metal barricades.

The Washington Post via Getty Images
<strong>KKK members watch as anti-KKK groups chanted against them.</strong>

It is estimated that there were about 1,000 people at the march and just 50 of those were KKK members, some of whom were carrying Confederate flags.

Charlottesville is traditionally a quiet university town.

The Washington Post via Getty Images
<strong>&nbsp;As they watched the KKK rally, anti-KKK rally goers chanted, 'Shame on you, shame on you.</strong>

Counter-protesters greeted KKK supporters with chants of "racists go home" and "shame" at Justice Park.

"Police were deployed to secure access to the park and ensure the safety of all involved," a Virginia State Police spokeswoman said.

After KKK members were escorted to their vehicles by officers, police declared the counter-protests "unlawful" and used three canisters of tear gas, local media reported.

More than 20 people were also arrested.

The Washington Post via Getty Images
<strong>A KKK group from North Carolina called the Loyal White Knights protested in Justice Park.</strong>
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<strong>A protester throws the hat off a counter protester before a planned Ku Klux Klan protest.</strong>
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<strong>Protesters outside of a planned Ku Klux Klan&nbsp;march.</strong>
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images
<strong>A protester has his eyes washed after being tear gassed by police.</strong>
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images
<strong>A protester has her eyes washed after being tear gassed by police following a Ku Klux Klan rally.</strong>
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images
<strong>Police escort members of the Ku Klux Klan past protesters.</strong>
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images
<strong>Anti- KKK protesters are arrested.</strong>