3 arrested at peaceful protest denouncing Confederate torch protest

People at the Take Back Lee Park rally (Photo: CNN Newsource)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- A peaceful protest in Charlottesville Sunday night was meant to counter what happened the night before.

Hundreds got together in the city's Lee Park for a candlelight vigil.

Signs and t-shirts that read "Black Lives Matter" were prominent, along with speeches in response to a Saturday demonstration in the park centered around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Saturday night, a prominent white nationalist joined dozens of people with torches to protest city plans to remove the monument.

But Sunday night was meant to be a forceful, but peaceful, response.

"You're not going to drown us out. You're not going to make us submissive to you," said Don Gathers, a protester Sunday night. "There is no such thing as supremacy. Slavery is dead. And we just need everyone to realize and recognize that very fact."

"I just wanted to come and replace last night's vibe with a different kind of energy and a totally different message that this is what Charlottesville is really like," said Sarah Silverstone.

Sunday night's vigil did briefly turn violent when a handful of counter-protesters showed up.

Three people were arrested and are facing charges; one of them a popular Charlottesville city blogger.

Charlottesville Police said during the last minutes of the rally, several disorders ensued and while breaking these up one of the officers was hit with an object thrown from the crowd causing a minor injury to his head.

Charles Best was identified as the person who threw the object and was taken into custody.

While police were searching him, they found an automatic opening knife and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon.

Police said Jordan McNeish spit on Jason Kessler and was arrested for disorderly conduct, Kessler was also arrested for disorderly conduct in relation to his activities while in the park when he would not obey an officer's commands to leave the area as well as inciting others while using a bull horn.

Charlottesville City officials denounced what happened Saturday night, some calling it 'profoundly ignorant."

Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer released a statement saying the event involving torches in Lee Park Saturday night "was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK."

Charlottesville Delegate David J. Toscano on Twitter, called the 'outrageous protests in Charlottesville' Saturday night unacceptable.

Del. Toscano was at the candlelight vigil on Sunday night calling it a night to take back Lee Park.

Other Virginia leaders also weighed in on the night's activities.

The Saturday night protest comes ahead of Monday's Charlottesville City Council meeting, where councilors are expected to decide the remaining recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission.

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