Richard Spencer and a large group of white men converged in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, less than two months since the last Charlottesville protests erupted in riots, killing activist Heather Heyer.
Videos and photos on Saturday night emerged featuring Spencer and a group of white nationalist demonstrators bearing tiki torches at Emancipation Park — home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue — giving speeches, marching, chanting, and breaking into a rendition of "Dixie."
What was the group chanting?
- "Russia is our friend!"
- "You will not replace us!"
- "The south will rise again!"
- "Harry Potter isn't real!"
- "We will be back!"
White nationalists now chanting - “We will be back”. About 3 dozen supporters in Emancipation Park. Plenty of police on standby in park. pic.twitter.com/LuJEsAgxQy
— Matt Talhelm (@MattTalhelm) October 7, 2017
What else was said?
One of the organizers could be heard on a loudspeaker addressing the gathered crowd.
"We are here to represent white America's interests!" he said, shouting.
"The left-wing establishment is built around anti-white policies and anti-white rhetoric. The right-wing establishment refuses to stick up for their own people — their own voters! They refuse to understand that white Americans are their base, and they disavow anyone who speaks in favor of white Americans and their interests," he continued.
"When polled, white Americans do not agree with what we see here: this statue being covered up, and torn down, in front of all of these people who are terrified to say anything because of the evil 'r-word' that they might be called. No more! Absolutely not! This ends now!"
The demonstrator continued, "We are a people with interests, and we are a people who will not be replaced. We are a people who, for too long, cowered and scared at the idea of being called racist, but this no longer affects us."
"Because of all the anti-white rhetoric, and because of the lack of representation, that is why American Identitarianism will succeed in this country and why we will be back. We will be back!" he shouted as the group launched into more chants.
Back in Charlottesville https://t.co/0iwH1CT8sT
— Richard ☝🏻Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) October 7, 2017
What was the response?
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer railed against the demonstration on Twitter Saturday night, and said that the city is "looking at all our legal options."
"Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards," Signer wrote. "You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned."
Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards. You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.
— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) October 8, 2017
Spencer told The Washington Post that the 20-minute demonstration was a "planned flash mob," and added that the event was a "great success."
"We wanted to prove that we came in peace in May, we came in peace in August, and we come again in peace," Spencer said.
He added, "Our identity matters. We are not going to stand by and allow people to tear down these symbols of our history and our people — and we're going to do this again."