White nationalists return to Charlottesville

White nationalist protesters have returned to the US town Charlottesville two months after violent clashes there saw a woman killed.

The town’s mayor said the small group’s appearance at the statue of a Confederate general was “another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards”.

The brief torch-lit rally was organised by far-right figure Richard Spencer.

In videos he posted protesters can be heard chanting “You will not replace us” and “we will be back”.

The statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee was also the venue for the “Unite the Right” rally in August, held to oppose plans to remove it.

Counter-demonstrator Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a participant drove into a group of counter-protesters at high speed.

Between 40 and 50 people are thought to have attended the rally in Emancipation Park by the statue of Gen Lee, which has been covered up while a legal challenge to its removal takes place.

In the video live-streamed by Mr Spencer, he said Charlottesville had become a symbol of the suppression of free speech and destruction of historical monuments.

The group, all dressed similarly and holding lit torches, could be heard chanting “the south will rise again” and “Russia is our friend”.

Another speaker said the group was there to “represent white America’s interests” and criticised the local community and the media.

Police said the group left the park shortly before 20:00 (0:00 GMT). Mayor Mike Signer said officials were looking at legal ways to prevent further events.

Mr Spencer is the founder of a right-wing website and think-tank and has made a series of controversial comments at public events, including allegedly advocating “peaceful” ethnic cleansing.

The US has been gripped by a national debate on whether to remove Confederate symbols from the US civil war because of their association with slavery.

After the violence in Charlottesville, many local governments acted to remove Confederate monuments.

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