Protesters with torches gather around Confederate monument in Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A group of people carrying torches gathered in a park in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday night to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Daily Progress reported.

The crowd chanted “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend” and “Blood and soil,” according to the newspaper.

The protest was reportedly led by Richard Spencer, a white nationalist who helped popularize the term “alt-right,” according to the Daily Progress.

Spencer tweeted a photo of himself holding a tiki torch at the protest.

Last month, the Charlottesville City Council voted to sell the statue but a judge issued an injunction that blocks the sale for six months after a group of residents and Confederate descendants filed a lawsuit, the paper reported.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer spoke out against the gathering in a statement on his Facebook page.

The University of Virginia Student Council also issued a statement calling the gathering a “disgrace.”