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Who Are the Alt-Right Leaders Behind Virginia Rally?

On Friday, hundreds of U.S. torch-bearing white nationalists rallied at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, protesting the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

The extremists clashed with counter-protesters and police ahead of a larger event Saturday, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said could be the largest white nationalist gathering in decades.

White nationalists carry torches around a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. August 11, 2017. Picture taken August 11, 2017. Reuters

Speakers at Saturday’s Unite the Right rally include some of the most notorious figures in white nationalist and alt-right subculture, which according to the SPLC has been “electrified” by Trump’s run for office, who regard the president as “a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country.”

Below Newsweek profiles them.

Jason Kessler

‘White rights’ activist Jason Kessler, who lives in Charlottesville, is the organizer of the protest.

Kessler is a newly sworn in member of the ‘Proud Boy’s’ alt-right fraternity, which was created by Vice News co-founder turned right-wing provocateur Gavin McInnes. Members are expected to attend Saturday’s rally.

He is the founder of Unity and Security for America, described as a “right-wing political advocacy group.”

Kessler claims to be neither a white nationalist nor white supremacist, however members of the KKK will be among his sidekicks at the rally. Hooded members of the racist organization held a July rally in the town.

Richard Spencer

7-19-17 Richard Spencer

White Nationalist leader Richard Spencer, center, chants back at counter-protestors as self-proclaimed “White Nationalists” and “Alt-Right” supporters gather for what they called a “Freedom of Speech” rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., on, June 25….

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