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Protesters Rally in Support of Robert E. Lee Statue

Torch-wielding demonstrators turned out Saturday at a park in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Confederate army.

The city voted to sell the statue in Lee Park and the decision has drawn “considerable consternation” from Southern heritage groups and others, says The Daily Progress. A judge issued an injunction that temporarily prevented the city from following through on the plan.

Saturday’s protest, led by white nationalist Richard Spencer, has left many to note that while intending to stand for southern heritage, the protesters fed into the left’s narrative of racism.

The mob chanted “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend” and “Blood and soil.”

Below are images taken of the protest:

Protesters chanted “White Lives Matter!” as they were confronted by angry counter-protesters during the day.

Charlottesville Mayor, Mike Signer, denounced the protest, saying that it was “either profoundly ignorant or was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK.”

The Monument Fund, a collection of plaintiffs suing the city over the removal of the statue issued a statement on Facebook disavowing any association with Saturday’s protest, reports The Daily Progress.

The group said they “remain committed to preserving the Robert E. Lee Monument in its park through the legal process in the courts because of its historic and artistic value.”

“Neither Save the Robert E. Lee Statue nor The Monument Fund were in any way involved in these events and only learned of them though media reports,” the group said in the statement.

“We soundly and completely reject racism, white supremacy, and any other identity based groups that preach division and hate no matter which side of the issue they happen to support.”