Counter-protesters charge streets following pro-Confederate rally

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As counter-protesters out-numbered organizers of a pro-Confederate rally Saturday morning near Lee Monument, another large group picked up where the original group left off.

Hundreds of counter-protesters believed to be part of the ‘anti-fascist’ movement took over the streets near VCU’s main campus.

The protesters shouted several chants, calling out the “fascist media” and repeated phrases like “Black Lives Matter.”

They used their banners and flags to block their faces from cameras recording them.

Henrico resident Sandra Witherspoon participated in the march until counter-protesters started chanting messages she didn’t agree with.

“I don’t believe that all police are bad,” Witherspoon said.

Counter-protesters ended up stopping near the JEB Stuart monument, blocking off Stuart Circle.

They chanted “Take Down the Monuments,” garnering both support and disapproval from bystanders.

 

Tense exchanges took place between some counter-protesters and bystanders, but Richmond Police kept watch to keep demonstrations peaceful.

Janet Robinson, a Richmond resident for more than 60 years, said she was pleased with how the protests turned out.

“Everybody’s talking back and forth and that’s the only way you can work things out is to talk and understand each one’s point of view,” Robinson said.

25-year-old Corissa Duffey and 32-year-old Ian Gerson, attempted to approach the scene with face masks.

Richmond Police sprung into action, detaining the two before approaching the crowd.

Police said seven people were arrested during Saturday’s protests.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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