Militia group returns to Charlottesville to defend itself

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A militia group has returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, to defend its presence at the Unite the Right rally in August.

NBC 29 reported Saturday that the Pennsylvania Light Foot Militia spoke out against legal efforts to ban the group and other organizations from future demonstrations in the city.

Militia members said they were protecting everyone’s right to free speech at the rally and never used any force.

They also drew a stark line between them and members of the so-called alt-right white nationalist movement. Militia member Christian Yingling said “we don’t support their beliefs in any way, shape, or form.”

The city of Charlottesville and others have filed a lawsuit trying to prevent such groups from returning. Violence erupted in Charlottesville during the rally protesting the planned removal of a Confederate statue.

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