Charlottesville, Virginia:
KKK Defenders of Slavery Confronted by 1,000 Protesters

July 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Earlier this year, the city council in Charlottesville, Virginia, decided to remove a public park statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee—who led a war to defend and expand the enslavement of Black people. The council also changed the name of the park from Lee Park to Emancipation Park.

As has happened in other cities, the decision to remove these blatant symbols/celebrations of SLAVERY provoked the outrage of all kinds of white supremacist scum—both official and “good old boy” variety. In May, a nighttime rally of 100 people with burning torches, some with automatic weapons, chanted “We [white people] will not be replaced.” On Saturday, July 8, the KKKers rallied again—and were confronted by a huge counter-protest.

The KKK had announced beforehand that they were going to come armed to their rally, and the city granted them a permit for their march.

A small handful of klukkers, a couple dozen, showed up, wearing white KKK robes, sporting handguns in holsters, carrying Confederate flags, and shouting “white power” slogans. And a crowd of about 1,000 counter-protesters, people of many different nationalities, rallied to SHUT THESE MOTHERFUCKERS DOWN. The counter-protest was organized by members of Black Lives Matter and the Charlottesville Showing Up for Racial Justice group. People shouted, “shame” and “racists go home.”

More than a 100 police were there and (as usual) set up a line to PROTECT the KKK—and attack those taking a determined stand against white supremacy and slavery. Wearing riot gear, the police declared the counter-protesters “an unlawful assembly,” used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd, and arrested 23 anti-KKK protesters.

Jalane Schmidt, a professor at the University of Virginia who has been among those calling for the removal of the statue, was in the crowd and told reporters, “It is important for me to be here because the Klan was ignored in the 1920s and they metastasized. They need to know that their ideology is not acceptable. I teach about slavery and African American history and it’s important to face the Klan and to face the demons of our collective history and our original sin of slavery. We do it on behalf of our ancestors who were terrorized by them.” (Washington Post, July 8, 2017)

There is a growing demand and movement in a number of different cities to take down Confederate monuments. And the KKK and white supremacists are crawling out, armed, to defend “white culture,” their racist “way of life,” and what they consider a glorious history of the South, i.e. defending SLAVERY.

This battle—between defenders of slavery, and all those who recognize the need to take a determined stand against white supremacy—is intensifying as KKKers in a number of cities are vowing to hold more protests against the removal of Confederate monuments. In Charlottesville there is a “Unite the Right” rally planned for next month.

What does it say about America, that for over 100 years now after the Civil War, there are some 1,500 Confederate place names and other symbols in public spaces, both in the South and across the nation; and that now, as there are moves to take these hated symbols of white supremacy down, this is provoking a heated battle?

This is a completely illegitimate system whose whole history is steeped in white supremacy and the oppression of Black people—which continues in many forms today. And as revcom pointed out in May when the KKK rallied in Charlottesville: “This violence-tinged defense of slave owners and genocidal regimes of the past is not just about ‘history’—it is BLATANT terrorism being directed specifically against Black people, and more broadly against all the groups being targeted by the Trump/Pence regime: immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and anyone who stands with them.”


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