Hate-watch groups agree rally was largest in decade or more


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Authorities have not provided a crowd estimate for the Saturday rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville that descended into chaos. But two organizations that track hate groups said it was the largest white supremacist gathering in a decade or more.

An Associated Press reporter and photographer who were on the scene all day estimated the white nationalist group at about 500 and the counterprotesters at double that, based on in-person observations and photos, including some taken from just above street level.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says she did not have a crowd estimate.

Southern Poverty Law Center spokeswoman Heidi Beirich told The Associated Press the next-biggest white supremacist rally her group knew of took place in 2002 in the nation’s capital and drew around 300 people.