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A Small Group Of Students Stood Up To A White Nationalist March And People Are Lauding Them As Heroes

"Tell me again how today's college students are scared snowflakes."

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The march came before Saturday's "Unite the Right" protest against the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park, formerly called Lee Park.

Fights broke out at the Friday night march, with multiple reports of counterprotesters being pepper-sprayed by the white nationalists, according to local paper the Cavalier Daily.

The groups were separated by law enforcement, who declared a wrongful assembly.

“This is not something that we thought would ever happen, that we would ever see in our lifetime," Alex Spratley, a second-year student who counterprotested, told the Cavalier Daily. "It’s wild.”

In the middle of the gathering, a small group of counterprotesters, which included students, linked arms and encircled a statue.

These are literally young UVA students age 17-23 standing up to a sea of white supremacists and neo-Nazis surroundi… https://t.co/4nZrApRuu2

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Some held up a "VA Students Act Against White Supremacy" sign.

Heroes. These students were surrounded by torch-bearing neo-Nazis, beaten, & unhelped by the police on scene.… https://t.co/5cmrePdNBl

People are now praising the counterprotesters as heroes.

These are heroes. This is courage, in the face of terrorism. I hope they're OK. https://t.co/icswmf3ipH

Salute to all the UVA students who stood up to the nazis in Charlottesville tonight. Their patriotism and courage is heroic.

If you ever get confused about what bravery is, it's this. https://t.co/XjVJTZg9ml

Members of the UVA community said the sight of the counterprotesters is the school they "know and love."

This is the @UVA I know and love. And this is unimaginable bravery. #resist https://t.co/6QJt8raQ2U

The students bravely linking arms around the statue are 1000% the #UVA I know and love. The torch-wielding bigots… https://t.co/LCh7ngnA7g

"Tell me again how today's college students are scared snowflakes," one person said.

Tell me again how today's college students are scared snowflakes. This takes real courage. https://t.co/wHGdFXy435

"Sometimes the future can't get here fast enough," another said. "Keep acting out students."

Sometimes the future can't get here fast enough. Keep acting out students. #Charlottesville https://t.co/tcHt7vmFqU

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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