September 19

Tense confrontation amid peaceful vigils on Charlottesville rally anniversary

first_imgCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The city of Charlottesville marked the anniversary of last summer’s white supremacist violence that sent ripples through the country with largely peaceful vigils and other events, but police had a brief, tense confrontation with demonstrators angry over the heavy security presence there this weekend.“Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here,” activists chanted Saturday evening.Shortly before a planned evening rally to mark the anniversary of a campus confrontation between torch-carrying white nationalists and counterprotesters, activists unfurled a banner that said, “Last year they came w/ torches. This year they come w/ badges.”A group of more than 200 protesters — students, residents and others — then marched to another part of the University of Virginia’s campus, where many in the crowd shouted at officers in riot gear forming a line.Kibiriti Majuto, a coordinator for UVA Students United, said the students moved to another part of campus because they didn’t want to be “caged” in the area where the planned rally area. Majuto said police “were not on our side” last year when white supremacists surrounded counterprotesters on the rotunda.“Cops and Klan go hand in hand,” he said.Charlottesville city councilman Wes Bellamy said he tried to diffuse the situation and told the police commander that students were upset by the officers’ tactics, with “over-the-top” riot gearlast_img read more