(CBS) An armed Klu Klux Klan chapter is holding a rally in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday afternoon, protesting the city’s decision earlier this year to take down a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park and rename the park.
But hundreds of counter-protesters also showed up Saturday afternoon, outnumbering the expected number of KKK participants and holding signs denouncing racism and promoting tolerance. CBS News spotted a few counter-protesters being taken away by police after crossing a law enforcement barrier at the rally.
A few dozen KKK members showed up, with some wearing robes and hoods. The members had several different flags, including Confederate flags. The KKK, established at the end of the Civil War and now headquartered in North Carolina, preaches white supremacy.
According to C officials, more than 100 police officers came to protect the public Saturday.
Charlottesville, a small city of about 43,000 people, is home to former President Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home and the university he founded, the University of Virginia.