(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
A few dozen Ku Klux Klan members and supporters shouted "white power" at a rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia where they protested against a city council decision to remove a statute honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The group was guarded by scores of police and outnumbered by hundreds of counter-protesters who waved signs denouncing racism. Anti-KKK protesters raised their voices in chants and shouts, drowning out speeches from the white supremacists, live video feeds on social media showed.
There were no initial reports of violence at the rally that lasted less than an hour. The Klan group that brandished Confederate flags and signs with anti-Semitic messages was separated from crowds by a ring of fencing and a heavy police presence.
Later police fired tear gas cannisters when some protesters refused orders to disperse. Twenty-three people were arrested, but officials could not confirm their affiliations.
In February, the Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 to remove the statue from the park once named for Lee and make plans for a new memorial to remember the southern city's enslaved population, The Daily Progress, the local newspaper reported.