A chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) held a rally in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, July 8, which resulted in violent clashes with rival activists and police forces. Dozens of KKK members took part in the authorized march, escorted to and from the rally at Circuit Court by police. Opposition protestors were separated from the rally by metal barricades and armed police; police declared the counter-protests "unlawful", deploying tear gas to disperse crowds. Normal travel has resumed in the area, but a heightened police presence and possibility of further disturbances should be expected.
The KKK is a white supremacist hate group that has been active in the United States since shortly after the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Saturday’s protest denounced the Charlottesville City Council’s plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a park in the city. They group are also opposing the decision to change the name of Lee Park to Emancipation Park.
Individuals in Charlottesville are advised to stay abreast of any further developments and avoid further disturbances, due to the risk of violence.