Police use tear gas to break up KKK protests in Virginia

Anti-KKK protestors arrested following clash with police

A KKK protest took place in Charlottesville

Monday, July 10, 2017

A protest centring on the Ku Klux Klan has ended in chaos with police using tear gas against demonstrators.

The protest took place on Saturday (July 8) in Charlottesville, Virginia, with klansmen demonstrating against the decision made by the city council to get rid of the statue of Robert E Lee - a hero of the slave-owning South during the Civil War.

Members of the KKK marched into Emancipation Park, where the statue stands, to protest its removal but were greeted by police.

One KKK protester said: "They’re trying to erase our history and it’s not right what they’re doing" with the statue, according to The Daily Beast.

The protesters were then put in a barricaded area away from those protesting against the KKK, who were also in a barricaded area.

The public had previously been asked to stay away from the area and instead protest against the KKK in different locations, however it is estimated that more than 1,000 people still turned up.

The KKK held banners with their website written on and one seemed to be a recruitment poster saying "Loyal White Knights Ku Klux Klan Wants you!"

But after shouts of "boo" and "go home" from opposing protesters, the KKK left, however those against the Ku Klux Klan followed them and asked why police officers were escorting them.

Police then fired tear gas in an attempt to get the huge crowd to split up. However, some of the KKK's opponents fought against the police, resulting in 23 of them being arrested.

After the protests mayor Mike Signer said he believed the day had gone well: “All in all, I believe that we came out of this difficult day stronger than before, more committed to diversity, to racial and social justice, to telling the truth about our history, and to unity."

But KKK opposition group Solidarity Cville said the event had shown that "today and every day, the police were there to protect white supremacy."

More protests like this one are set to take place next month.