Richard Spencer leads torch-bearing protesters at Virginia Confederate monument
Self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer led a large group of demonstrators carrying torches and chanting "You will not replace us" Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting plans to remove a Confederate monument that has played an outsize role in this year's race for Virginia governor.
"What brings us together is that we are white, we are a people, we will not be replaced," Spencer said at an afternoon protest, the first of two rallies he led in the college town where he once attended the University of Virginia.
At the second rally, dozens of torch-bearing protesters gathered in a city park Saturday evening and chanted "You will not replace us" and "Russia is our friend," local television footage shows. Spencer was not shown addressing that gathering, but he tweeted a photo of himself standing in the crowd carrying what appeared to be a bamboo tiki torch.
The evening protest was short-lived. About 10 minutes in, an altercation between Spencer's group and counterprotesters drew police to the scene, and the crowd quickly dispersed, the Charlottesville Daily Progress reported.