It was billed as a historically large effort to “take America back,” decades in the making. Hundreds of white nationalists, Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville for a rally that quickly and frequently descended into chaos.
The demonstrators carried U.S. and Confederate flags. They held tiki torches and clubs and donned impromptu battle gear — helmets, clubs, sticks and makeshift shields. At times the “Unite the Right” rally was marked by peaceful marches and chanting. But often, neo-Nazis exchanged blows with counterprotesters in clouds of tear gas and pepper spray.