RICHMOND, Va. (CBSNewYork/CBSNews) – It was a day of protests and rallies in Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Demonstrators squared off in Richmond over plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.
Meanwhile in Washington, fans of the Insane Clown Posse and supporters of President Donald Trump took over the National Mall.
Counter-demonstrators outnumbered members of the New Confederate States of America at a “Heritage Not Hate” rally in Richmond. The group was demanding Virginia state officials keep a statue honoring Lee.
“Once a veteran, always a veteran. No matter what war they fought,” one man said.
“We are all under God. We need to defend all American history,” a woman added.
Others said the statue is a painful reminder of the past, and it’s time for it to come down.
“It’s history, but it’s awful history to me. That history reminds me and keeps reminding everybody of how they wanted to keep us enslaved,” one woman said.
Virginia is an open-carry state, and some protesters came armed. But the demonstration was mainly peaceful. Heavily armed police used barricades to keep the crowds from getting close to the statue.
There were also dueling demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
Members of the Juggalos, fans of the rock group Insane Clown Posse, took over one end of the National Mall.
At the other end were several hundred pro-Trump supporters who gathered for what was billed as the mother of all rallies.
“It’s just a way to come support America and support our leader,” said one man. “You need to support and have faith in your leadership.”
There was a large police presence, but no reports of violence.