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'Unite the Right' rally draws supporters, protesters  |

'Unite the Right' rally draws supporters, protesters 
'Unite the Right' rally draws supporters, protesters  Sat, 12 Aug 2017 10:45:10 EDT

A Saturday rally in Emancipation Park in Virginia around the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee could attract up to 6,000 people, CNN reported.

Supporters and protesters were seen gathering Saturday morning at the rally site.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said the event could be "the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States."

Alt-right activists marched in a torch-lit rally late Friday through the University of Virginia campus and clashed with rival protesters, CNN reported.

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Protesters chanted "blood and soil" and "one people, one nation, end immigration" as they rallied around a statue of Thomas Jefferson, WWBT reported.

The march occurred several hours before

Police broke up Friday’s march, calling it "unlawful assembly." University officials condemned the gathering. Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said in a statement that the rally was "a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance" that passed by the statue Jefferson, who founded the university in 1819.

"Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here's mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus," Signer said.

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan said she "strongly" condemned the clashes.

"Law enforcement continues to investigate the incident, and it is my hope that any individuals responsible for criminal acts are held accountable," she said in a statement.