People gathering to resist Unite the Right demonstration say they were hit with pepper spray and lighter liquid in conflict on University of Virginia campus

Hundreds of far-right demonstrators exerted torches as they marched on to the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Friday night and reportedly attacked a much smaller group of counter-protesters who had linked limbs around a statue of Thomas Jefferson.

Starting at a municipal park less than a mile away, alt-right protesters who have gathered for the weekend Unite the Right rally marched in a long column over the short distance to the campus, chanting slogans like You will not replace us and Blood and soil.

When the marchers reached and surrounded the counter-protesters there was a short verbal showdown. Counter-protesters said they were then attacked with sway torches, pepper spraying and lighter liquid.

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A human after being hit with pepper spray at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

Emily Gorcenski was among the objectors who said they were hit with the mace spray.[ They] completely surrounded us and wouldnt let us out.

She told police did not intervene until long after the rightwing marchers had struck out at protesters. I read hundreds of people chanting Nazi mottoes and police do nothing.

Goresnki shared several live videos of the event.

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Unite the Right march on the University of Virginia campus. Photo: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

Charlottesville police did not respond immediately to requests for remark.

Two male objectors who said they were also maced, and did not wish to be named, described far-right protesters moving from verbal mistreat, to pushing and jostle protesters, to the noxious spraying.

Someone from the alt right maced me right in the face unprovoked, said one. After they maced people they started punching people and making them with torches. Several protesters said a woman applying a wheelchair was among those sprayed.

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A humankind is assist after being hit in the are dealing with pepper spraying. Photo: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

Just up the street from the fracas, a community prayer fulfill been established in St Pauls memorial faith, addressed by several evangelists including prominent civil rights leader Dr Cornel West. The terminate of the service overlapped with the torch parade and many people waited for long periods before leaving citing safety concerns.

In an interview, West mentioned: The crypto-fascists, the neofascists, the neo-Nazis now feel so empowered , not just by Trump but by the whole shifting in the nation towards scapegoats.

I dont like this talk about alt-right, thats an unnecessary abstraction. These are neofascists in contemporary garb.

On Saturday the smaller college metropoli will face down a full scale Unite the Right rally, which is predicted to be the countrys largest in a decade.

Far-right monitoring groups estimate that between 500 and 1,000 people and 30 prominent speakers and groups will descend on the downtown region for the Saturday afternoon event, organised by local rightwing activist and former Daily Caller writer Jason Kessler.

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2017/ aug/ 12/ charlottesville-far-right-crowd-with-torches-encircles-counter-protest-group