Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency after a rally turned violent killing one person and injuring 19 when a vehicle rammed into a group of protesters marching against white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday.
Police was busy dispersing demonstrators after clashes erupted when hundreds of white supremacists, white nationalists and alt-right groups gathered at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park ahead of last night’s ‘Unite the Right’ rally to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency “to aid state response to violence.”
President Donald Trump tweeted: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Bearing shields and chanting racist slogans, thousands of alt-right nationalists descended on Emancipation Park formerly known as Lee Park in downtown Charlottesville.
Robert Edward Lee was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865.
The skirmishes unfolded following a scuffle Friday night between torch-bearing demonstrators and counter-protesters at the nearby University of Virginia.
Police has been engaged in dispersing the crowds after fistfights and screaming matches erupted in several locations late Saturday morning and the Governor declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly”, CNN reported.
“Numerous protesters have been arrested in Charlottesville as torch-carry white nationalists, yelling ‘white lives matter’ and Nazi slogans, marched through the University of Virginia Friday night, punching counter-protestors and some using pepper spray”, state police said.
Tension increased as white nationalists holding tiki-style torches marched onto the University of Virginia’s campus. Chanting, “Blood and soil” and “You will not replace us,” the group rallied around a statue of Thomas Jefferson before they clashed with counter-protesters, it is reported. The group left the university’s grounds when police arrived and declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.
Charlottesville Mayor, Mike Signer released a statement referring to the rally as a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights.”