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White supremacists brandishing torches return to Charlottesville

Dozens of torch-wielding hate mongers led by Richard Spencer flocked to a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Va., for the first time since a neo-Nazi’s deadly attack on protesters in August.

The group, some wearing white-collared shirts, briefly surrounded a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee on Saturday night. The Civil War memorial has been cloaked by a black tarp since mid-September and is slated for removal from Emancipation Park, near the University of Virginia campus.

“We are here to represent white America’s interests,” one member of the group shouted through a loudspeaker.

The hateful group’s mouthpiece, who was not immediately identified, jeered what he described as anti-white policies, rhetoric and right-wing pols for not standing by their cause.

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“The right wing establishment refuses to stick up for their own people, their own voters,” he shouted, according to a video of the protest.

AN AUG. 23, 2017, FILE PHOTO,

The city of Charlottesville covered the Confederate statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee with a black tarp in September. 

(Steve Helber/AP)

The speaker denounced Charlottesville’s plans to remove the Confederate statue, a decision prompted by a similar torch-lit march through the UVA campus in August. The next day, a neo-Nazi plowed a sports car through throngs of peaceful protesters, killing paralegal Heather Heyer.

This is the third visit followers of UVA alum Spencer have made in the college town since May – when a group of chanting men with torches shouted, “Russia is our friend.”

“We’re going to do it again,” Spencer said in a Twitter video after Saturday’s rally.

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Spencer’s latest protest in the former Lee Park was its smallest. The display lasted less than a half hour and ended shortly after the group spouted a statement, according to WVIR-TV.

“We came, we triggered, we left. We did an in-and-out flash mob,” he added.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer suggested he would take legal action to prevent another hate-spouting rally at the park.

“Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards,” the mayor tweeted. “You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.”

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he is monitoring the rally and that “we continue to oppose these racists and their message of hate.”

Mourners and clergy pray outside the memorial service for Heather Heyer, who was killed during a white nationalist rally last Saturday, on Aug. 16, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.

Memorial service for racist rally car attack victim Heather Heyer

Ralph Northam, the state’s lieutenant governor and Democratic candidate to replace McAuliff, challenged his Trump-endorsed opponent, Ed Gillespie, to put a stop to Spencer’s antics “the next time you talk to Trump.”

“Tell him we’re sick of this here in Virginia,” Northam tweeted.

In a statement, Northam blamed President Trump for allowing racism to flourish.

“Donald Trump’s equivocation enabled this to happen again, and Ed Gillespie failed to call on the leader of his party to denounce neo-Nazis and white supremacists,” Northam said. “There can be no ambiguity from any elected official. White supremacists are not welcome, and they will not win.”  

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