VIDEOS: Police Use Tear Gas To Clear Out Black Lives Matter Protesters At Charlottesville KKK Rally

Charlottesville, VA - A planned Charlottesville KKK rally and counter-protest planned for Saturday ended with tear gas and 23 arrests. Around 50 members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan announced that they were going to hold an armed protest in Charlottesville to protest the removal

Charlottesville, VA - A planned Charlottesville KKK rally and counter-protest planned for Saturday ended with tear gas and 23 arrests.

Around 50 members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan announced that they were going to hold an armed protest in Charlottesville to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. They gained a permit for the Saturday march and started spreading the word to drum up attention for their cause.

The city pleaded with people not to take the bait, and not give them the attention they wanted.

“Our approach all the way through, from our police chief on down, has been to urge people not to take this totally discredited fringe organization’s putrid bait at all,” Mayor Michael Signer said, according to Joe Heim with The Washington Post. “The only thing they seem to want is division and confrontation and a twisted kind of celebrity. The most successful defiance will be to refuse to take their bait and continue to tell our story. Then their memory of Charlottesville will be of a community that repudiated them by not getting drawn into their pathetic drama.”

The city worked to create attractions to draw people away from the rally. However, Black Lives Matter realized that they could use the event to generate attention for themselves, and they organized a 1,000 person counter-protest.

Black Lives Matter groups pushed the event and it drew reporters from across the U.S. to report on the showdown between the two organizations who both promote ethnonationalism.

The Black Lives Matter crowd grew in size early in the day, and from all appearances, it was an anti-police rally rather than an counter-protest to the KKK. The group chanted at the police, taunting and insulting them throughout the event.

Before the KKK even showed up, several people in the Black Lives Matter group were arrested.

You can see initial video of the first arrests here:

Several counter-protesters arrested for preventing #KuKluxKlan to rally against removal of #RobertELee statue in Charlottesville, VA #KKK pic.twitter.com/5CzHttS446
— Q McCray (@ABC7Q) July 8, 2017

Due to delays caused by the Black Lives Matter crowd, the KKK pajama party got started 45 minutes late. After about 40 minutes of spouting white supremacist and anti-Semitic hate speech, the KKK had enough and decided to head home.

Officers escorted the group of 50 KKK members to their cars, where the 1,000 Black Lives Matter protesters blocked the streets, and some protesters were spraying pepper spray.

Police declared that the Black Lives Matter protesters were an unlawful assembly and repeatedly warned them that chemical agents would be used if they didn't clear out. Some of the crowd dispersed, and three canisters of tear gas had to be used to clear out the rest.

The crowd finally dispersed. As of 6:16 PM, there were 23 arrests made of the Black Lives Matter group.

Afterwards, attendees took to social media, seemingly shocked that that the police would use tear gas on a peaceful (besides the pepper spray) protest after they had been repeatedly warned that the police would do exactly that.

Reporter Joe Heim described the incident in a series of tweets during the event:

Klan now inside sheriff's office. Big crowd outside. Police announced this is an unlawful assembly. Said they will arrest if don't disperse pic.twitter.com/CXj51cNNwi

— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) July 8, 2017

Police have now given crowd third warning to disperse. Some in crowd push back.
— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) July 8, 2017

More arrests now. Things boiling over a bit with about 100 or so remaining protesters.

— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) July 8, 2017

Video shows the moments before the tear gas was deployed:

POLICE USE TEAR GAS against #CharlottesvilleKKK counter protesters. This reporter didn't hear calls to disperse before tear gas used. pic.twitter.com/HuNRcC5HjN
— Henry Klapper (@Hklap_reports) July 8, 2017

Finally, after the tear gas was deployed, the dumbest tweet of the day goes to:

The police waited for the white liberals to disperse then attacked Black and queer activists

— No Hate in Cville (@EmilyGorcenski) July 8, 2017

Besides not being true about all of the white liberals leaving, I think what she's really trying to say is that people who dispersed when they were told to are the people who didn't get hit with tear gas or arrested. It's amazing how that works.

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