ST. CLOUD - Hundreds of people gathered at Lake George in St. Cloud on Sunday to show their solidarity with protesters 1,200 miles away in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The rally in St. Cloud was organized by Unitecloud, a group that "promotes the culture of respect".

Natalie Ringsmuth is the founder of Unitecloud. She says this rally was also about bringing hope to people in central Minnesota.

"Stuff like this (rally) makes us proud. The 150 people that are here get to see that Central Minnesota has people that come out here on Sunday afternoon to instill hope."

While in the past St. Cloud wasn't known for its diversity, modern St. Cloud has seen a influx of immigrants. Ringsmuth says one of St. Cloud's strengths now is it's diversity.

"I find that to be a strength of the new St. Cloud. I am glad that my kids get to go to school with other kids that don't worship like them, don't have the same skin color as them or even born in the same country as them."

The rally marched around the lake and marchers came together in the end hand in hand in a sign of solidarity.

From Charlottesville, Virginia:
Charlottesville hospital says many of the patients injured after a car drove into a crowd of protesters at a white nationalist rally are improving.

A spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Health System said in a statement Sunday afternoon that nine of the patients the hospital treated have been released. Ten others are in good condition.

A day earlier, the hospital said five patients were in critical condition, four were in serious condition, six were in fair condition and four were in good condition.

The statement also says the hospital treated additional patients related to Saturday's events but that the hospital can't give an exact number.

The man who organized a rally in Charlottesville that sparked violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters tried to hold a news conference a day after the deadly event, but a crowd of several hundred booed him and forced him away from the lectern.

Jason Kessler is a blogger based in Charlottesville, and as he came out to speak Sunday afternoon near City Hall, he was surrounded by cameras and people. Some people chanted and made noises with drums and other instruments. Among the chants: "You're wearing the wrong hood," a reference to the Ku Klux Klan.

Kessler mimicked looking at his watch and indicated he'd wait to speak.

A few people approached, crossing the line of TV cameras.

One man pushed Kessler. A woman tackled him.

Kessler asked officers on the scene for help. Eventually they escorted him off. No arrests were reported.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)


Get the WJON App for Your Phone or Tablet

Justin LaBounty WJON
Justin LaBounty WJON

More From AM 1240 WJON