Hundreds of people marched through Richmond to protest the election of Donald Trump, and three Confederate statues were vandalized, authorities said Thursday. A dozen people were arrested.
Crowds gathered Wednesday night, blocking streets near Virginia Commonwealth University. Online video showed marchers chanting, “No Trump. No KKK. No fascist USA,” and carrying banners reading, “Not my president.”
Troopers responded to Interstate 95 around 10 p.m. and guided a large group of protesters off the highway, state police said. More than an hour later, troopers were called to the Downtown Expressway, where protesters sat in lanes and many refused to leave. Around midnight, troopers arrested four men and six women between the ages of 20 and 26 and charged them with unlawful assembly and being pedestrians on an interstate, according to the statement.
Richmond police arrested two more people on the opposite side of the road who will face the same charges, the department said.
No arrests had been made in connection with the damage to statues along the city’s Monument Avenue, which authorities believe were tagged during the protests.
Graffiti on the side of a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis said, “Your vote was a hate crime.” Also tagged were statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and naval officer and oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury.
Cleanup of the Maury and Davis statues was underway Thursday, Richmond police spokesman James Mercante said. The graffiti on the Lee statue was also expected to be quickly removed, said Capt. Ray Goodloe, a spokesman for the Capitol Police, which are investigating that statue’s damage.
The headquarters of the Republican Party of Virginia was also vandalized during the protest, chairman John Whitbeck said in a statement. TV station WWBT reported the doorbell was broken and graffiti was painted on the building.
A police spokeswoman said no one had filed a report about the vandalism. Police are looking into it but can’t say whether the damage happened during the protests, spokeswoman Koury Wilson said.
The protest in Richmond was one of several across the country against Trump’s stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
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