A march by supporters of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan (KKK) group in the US state of Virginia has been met by hundreds of rival demonstrators.
Members of the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan — some wearing Klan robes and carrying Confederate flags — arrived in midday to protest the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park, one of several steps the city is taking to reduce its number of Confederate monuments.
They were confronted by shouting counter protesters as tensions ratcheted up and a large group of law enforcement officers, including members of the state police, set up police lines.
Shouting “racists go home,” the crowd drowned out the Klansmen’s chants of “white power.” Despite police lines, a few brief scuffles broke out. Counter protesters tried to stop the Klansmen from entering and leaving the park.
The marchers, some carrying Confederate flags, were separated from rival groups by metal barricades and armed police.
The KKK supporters were escorted to and from the rally by the police.
They were greeted in the university town by large crowds chanting “shame” and “racists go home” shortly after they had gathered at Justice Park.
Twenty-three people were arrested. It was not clear what they were charged with or whether those arrested were Klan supporters, counter protesters or some from each group.