Airbnb Cancels Bookings, Deletes Accounts Of People Attending White Supremacist Rally

Robert E. Lee Statue

City leaders are describing Saturday's Unite the Right rally as a significant event in Charlottesville history, and they are stressing the importance of safety. Circled around a statue of the school's slave-holding founder Thomas Jefferson, the marchers chanted "white lives matter".

The two groups clashed before police broke it up, NBC29 in Charlottesville reported.

At least one person was arrested after police arrived at the scene and tried to disperse the crowds. However, in advance of tomorrow's rally there have been communications from extremist groups, many of which are located outside of Virginia, who may seek to commit acts of violence against rally participants or law enforcement officials.

"I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus", Mayor Mike Singer said in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing the event's organizer - right-wing blogger Jason Kessler - in a lawsuit filed August 10 against the city of Chartlottesville and City Manager Maurice Jones.

Response teams from Richmond will be in Charlottesville this weekend, and the Virginia National Guard is on standby.

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With hundreds of people expected to attend the rally as well as thousands of counterprotestors, the city announced on Monday that the rally had to move to the larger McIntire Park.

Supporters call such statues racially insensitive, while opponents say Confederate symbols honor Southern heritage, and calls to remove them reflect "empty political correctness".

Charlottesville officials negotiated with the protest's organizer, Jason Kessler, to move it to McIntire Park due to "safety and logistical reasons".

Kessler sued the city, and on Friday night a federal court sided with him.

"Virginia is the birthplace of the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly that make our country great", McAuliffe said. Kessler refused to budge, insisting the rally needed to be held at the site of the statue because its removal is "about white genocide".

"Fascism functions by using the institutions of a democracy towards its own ends", she said by telephone.

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