The people of Charlottesville are not happy that white nationalists came into their town and they want the city council to do something the next time they hold a rally within the city limits. The council meeting on Monday was intense, with residents excoriating the elected body for not acting quickly enough to stop the violence that sent many to the hospital and left one person, Heather Heyer, dead, after being run over by a white nationalist.
Extremist white nationalist and left wing groups clashed on August 12, with the former holding a rally in the city to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.
During the three-hour comment period, protesters became increasingly unruly, forcing the meeting to close. A banner that read “blood on your hands” was held behind the city council members, as the situation quickly became chaotic. Not happy with the mayor’s response to the violence, the demonstrators demanded Mayor Michael Singer resign. Police had to step in during the meeting (via NBC 29/WVIR):
A protest erupted inside Charlottesville city council chambers August 21 as councilors held their first meeting since deadly violence played out in city streets on August 12.
The crowd screamed at councilors and eventually took over the meeting, which caused the police that were present to intervene.
The emotional crowd vows to see the statue taken down, even if it is by their own hands.
At one point, councilors and city staff fled the room as protestors jumped up where the council sits. Two protestors held a banner saying "Blood on your Hands."
"You had multiple opportunities to intervene and you did not intervene one time. We told you exactly what you needed to do and you did nothing," said an unidentified man at the meeting.
The people in the crowd demanded answers about recent events that occurred in the city.
“You want to call yourself the capital of resistance the resistance was the medics that saved lives. The resistance are the citizens who are identifying the perpetrators of hate crimes,” said Emily Gorcenski.
They wanted someone held accountable.
"Somebody has to be held accountable not only for the blood of those three lives but for every injury that happened this past weekend. And I'll be damned if I see another one of my brothers or sisters get beaten or die,” said Don Gathers.
Charlottesville police officers flooded council chambers in an attempt to keep the crowd calm. Three people were hauled out of the chambers and arrested.
According to The Washington Post, the council unanimously passed a motion to drape the Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson statues in black to symbolize the state of mourning the city finds itself in after the violent clashes. Another motion to move forward on the statue’s removal was also passed unanimously.