An armed man allegedly made threatening statements to March to Confront White Supremacy participants, briefly halting the group's trek on Wednesday, according to organizers.
The man reportedly threatened to wait for the marchers with a gun at the McDonalds along U.S. 29 in Madison County, group organizers announced Thursday morning. They said they decided to temporarily halt the march because of the threat. But the group is still making its way to D.C., with plans of reaching Remington on Friday before they make their way to Gainesville this weekend.
“We will continue marching tomorrow and the next day, until we reach Washington D.C. to deliver our demands at the Capitol,” march organizers said in a prepared statement. “This threat is a clear example of why we need more people to stand with us in this fight against white supremacy and hatred. We’re always more powerful united than divided.”
Corrinne Geller, public relations director for the Virginia State Police, said there were no direct threats made against the marchers or any violation of the law.
"There was an individual who was in the vicinity of the marchers with a legal, open carry firearm on his person," Geller said. "Local and state law enforcement personnel were aware of his presence."
Police suggested the marchers conclude their journey for the day Wednesday afternoon after the incident, Geller said.
"The marchers were less than a mile from their prescheduled stopping point at the time the march was concluded Wednesday afternoon," she said.
Madison County Sheriff Erik Weaver told the Culpeper Star-Exponent on Thursday deputies knew about the man’s threats since earlier this week.
“At the time the statements were made, he was carrying a firearm,” Weaver said. “The situation was handled by law enforcement.”
The march was initiated as a response to violence and an alleged murder at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville earlier this month.
The planned 118 mile march began at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville on Monday and is scheduled to end in D.C. on Sept. 6.
The purpose of the march, according to its website, is to “demand the removal from office all officials who enable white supremacy, including President Trump.”
Marchers are also calling for the removal of all Confederate symbols and for charges to be dropped against people arrested for protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville, among other demands.
Actor Mark Ruffalo joined the march this morning.
“I’m marching today in memory of Heather Heyer, the young woman who lost her life to the hate of white supremacists in Charlottesville, as well as many others who were injured,” Ruffalo said in a prepared statement. “I’m also marching because a central demand of this march is for Donald Trump to be removed from office following his statement supporting white supremacists and neo-Nazis.”