Counter-rally lights up Lee Park with candles, not torches

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Two rallies took place over the weekend in Charlottesville's Lee Park.

The first, on Saturday, featured torch-wielding demonstrators led by "self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer," the Washington Post reported.

Spencer and the demonstrators rallied to protest Charlottesville's plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Lee Park.

"You will not replace us. You will not destroy us," Spencer said during a rally earlier in the day Saturday the Post reported. "You cannot destroy us. We have awoken. We are here. We are never going away."

In response, a counter demonstration was held Sunday in the same park.

During Sunday's candlelight rally, demonstrators expressed their disgust with Saturday's display.

"You're not going to drown us out, you're not going to make us listen to you, there is no such thing as a supremacy, slavery is dead and we just need everyone to realize and recognize that," demonstrator Don Gathers told WVIR.

"I just wanted to come and replace last night's vibe with a different kind of energy and a totally different message that this is what Charlottesville is really like," Sarah Silverstone added.

In a statement over the weekend, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said the city would "reject this intimidation" calling Charlottesville a "a welcoming city.

"Such intolerance is not welcome here,” he said.

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