Virginia lt. governor: Don’t give protesters satisfaction of ‘ugly’ response

Virginia lt. governor: Don’t give protesters satisfaction of ‘ugly’ response
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Virginia's Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is urging counter-demonstrators not to give white supremacists the satisfaction of an "ugly and violent" response on Saturday as Charlottesville braces for a protest by far-right groups.

"White supremacists have descended upon Charlottesville again to evoke a reaction as ugly and violent as their beliefs – just as they did before, I am urging Virginians to deny them the satisfaction," Northam, a Democrat who is also running for Virginia governor, said in a statement.

Northam's statement came ahead of a gathering of white supremacists, white nationalists and alt-right groups to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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The rally, dubbed "United the Right," has drawn fierce opposition in Charlottesville, where the University of Virginia is located. 

On Friday, torch-bearing far-right protesters clustered on the university's campus in an apparent run-up to Saturday's demonstration in Emancipation Park. That gathering was met by counterprotests before it was dispersed by university police.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer slammed the Friday gathering, calling it a "a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance."

“I strongly condemn the unprovoked assault on members of our community, including University personnel who were attempting to maintain order,” UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said.

Police are anticipating the demonstration on Saturday to draw as many as 2,000 to 6,000 people, according to CNN