A group of vocal protestors covered the statue of Thomas Jefferson in black tarp relating it to the Confederacy.
One month after white nationalists stormed the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, bearing tiki torches and chanting, “You will not replace us,” a smaller but equally vocal crowd of protesters took to the Rotunda on Tuesday night, covering a statue of Thomas Jefferson in a black shroud.
The group of about 100 UVa students, faculty and community members gathered despite the rain to deride the university’s response to the summer’s wave of white nationalist demonstrations.
They covered the UVa founder’s statue in black, mimicking the city’s decision to shroud the statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in the wake of the violent Aug. 12 rally that resulted in one death and dozens of injuries.
“One month ago, we stood on the front lines in downtown Charlottesville as all manner of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and neo-fascists swarmed the area,” said a speaker addressing the crowd. “Two months ago, the Ku Klux Klan rallied in their safe space, fully robed and fully protected by multiple law enforcement agencies who brutalized and tear gassed peaceful counter-protesters.”
With some sporting “Black Lives Matter” signs and many others chanting, the crowd cheered as three protesters climbed the Jefferson statue, adorning it with signs that dubbed the former president a “racist” and “rapist.”
While chanting mantras that have become routine in anti-racist protests, the common chant “No Trump, No KKK no fascist USA” was tweaked, swapping “fascist USA” with “racist UVa.”
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