White nationalist Richard Spencer and other demonstrators carried torches and chanted "You will not replace us" while protesting plans to remove a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Va., this weekend.

"What brings us together is that we are white, we are a people, we will not be replaced," Spencer said, according to the Washington Post. "You cannot destroy us. We have awoken. We are here. We are never going away."

At a second rally, protesters carrying torches chanted "Russia is our friend."

The protests were in response to a city council vote to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. A court injunction has prevented the statue's removal for six months.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart has defended the Confederate flag and monuments, calling the removal of such symbols "historical vandalism."

Former congressman Tom Perriello, who is also running for governor, told Spencer via Twitter to "get your white supremacist hate out of my hometown."

"We won, you lost, little Tommy," Spencer replied.

"Actually, you lost," Perriello fired back. "In 1865. 150 years later, you're still not over it."

There has been pressure nationwide to remove Confederate-related statues, which opponents say represent slavery and racial injustice.

Last week, police in New Orleans created a barrier between opposing crowds as crews removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

It was one of four monuments that the New Orleans City Council voted to remove in 2015.