In April 2017, following some months of debate, Charlottesville voted to remove the statue of Robert E Lee. But this stalled in early May, when a temporary injunction issued by the court prohibited the removal of the statue for another 6 months. By this time, the city’s former Lee Park had become the preferred venue for various neo-Confederate and far right wing political groups to hold public events in Charlottesville. This included demonstrations protesting the removal of the statues. These protests were met with peaceful resistance from anti-racism counter-protestors, but tensions between the two groups usually escalated. Attempts to keep them separated weren’t always successful, and intervention by law enforcement only served to further incite backlash from both sides. It’s against this socio-political backdrop that today’s story unfolded.
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