Chanting “blood and soil,” “white lives matter” and “you will not replace us,” scores of white nationalists holding torches marched across the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Friday night.
Scuffles broke out between them and a small group of counter-protesters calling themselves “anti-fascists” who were surrounded as they demonstrated in advance of Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which is expected to be one of the largest far-right gatherings in the U.S. in at least a decade.
Police soon cleared away the demonstrators, according to reporters at the scene.
“The fear we instill in them today only fuels our victory tomorrow,” one rally supporter wrote on Twitter, in a message retweeted by Richard Spencer, one of the nation’s most prominent white nationalists, who is attending the weekend’s events in Virginia.
Spencer also tweeted a selfie, showing him smiling with the marchers’ tiki torches in the background.
“I am safe. I am not fine,” one of the counter-protesters, Emily Gorcenski, tweeted, saying that white nationalists had attacked her group. “What I just witnessed was the end of America.”
Pictures and video of the nighttime march spread rapidly across social media, where many black and left-leaning Americans expressed disgust at the imagery, which to them recalled torch-lit Ku Klux Klan rallies of yesteryear.
“This is a disgrace,” tweeted Martese Johnson, a black University of Virginia alumnus who gained notoriety in 2015 when he was bloodied by police as a student. “I do not believe this is happening on my…
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