Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville sparks large protest
CHARLOTESVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- Hours before the Ku Klux Klan arrived at Justice Park in Charlottesville, more than 1,000 people were already protesting. Police in full riot gear made more than 20 arrests.
About 50 Klansmen were delayed by protesters but finally arrived to a harsh welcome - armed and ready to speak out against plans to remove Confederate monuments.
There was screaming between the Klan and the protesters, who said they were there to confront the Klan and resist white supremacy.
"The Klan is Jefferson's legacy. The Klan is the legacy of these Confederate statues and the legacies that these statues represent," said Mimi Albreit, a protest organizer.
The Klan briefly addressed the crowd, and one, James Moore, Imperial Kludd of the loyal White Knights, had choice words about the city's Vice Mayor.
"Wes Bellamy, he's a sicko. He gets on Twitter making comments saying 'If she moans, it's not rape, and so forth.' These are the kind of people we're electing into the government here in Charlottesville, which goes to show that the whole thing is corrupt and we're standing against it," said Moore.
KKK supporters said the Klan has the right to exercise free speech and said protesters are wasting theirs.
"The statues people are (expletive) about, they shouldn't have to do that. Statues have nothing to do with it," said Albert Clatterbuck, a Klan supporter.
Protest organizers are demanding the city take steps to end racial oppression and make reparations.
The rally ended with police confrontations and tear gas when the crowd refused to leave.