One Dead, thirty Injured as Car Plows Into Crowd Protesting White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville
Ohio man, 20, held by police on charges related to car-ramming ■ Virginia State Police helicopter crash leaves two dead ■ State of emergency announced ahead of march
White nationalists march on University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville
Inspired by Trump, these Jewish women have determined to run for office
At least one person died and thirty were injured in a day of violent clashes inbetween white nationalists and counter-protesters in Virginia on Saturday, with the state’s governor blaming the neo-Nazis for sparking the violence and requesting that they go home.
Two people also died when a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed near the violence in Charlottesville, federal aviation officials said.
skip – Movie of car plowing into crowd
Movie of fascist driving through crowd of protesters in #Charlottesville
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!
I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & recall it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists. https://t.co/Rkfs7O2Ykr
It was not clear if the crash was related to the outbreak of clashes in the Southern college town, where protesters fought hundreds of white supremacists attempting to halt the planned removal of a Confederate statue from a park.
skip – Charlottesville mayor’s tweet
@realDonaldTrump, thanks, at long last, for condemning hate in speech and activity. Our work here is just beginning. Yours is too.
A man from Ohio was held by police on charges relating to the car incident, including second-degree murder, according to Martin Kumer, Albemarle Charlottesville’s regional jail superintendent.
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The suspect was James Alex Fields, Jr., a 20-year-old white man from Ohio, Kumer said. It was not clear why the suspect was in Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia’s flagship campus.
A mugshot of James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with one count of 2nd degree murder after ramming into a crowed in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017. HANDOUT/REUTERS
Clashes in Charlottesville, VA
To those requesting photographic evidence of Nazi regalia in #charlottesville, here's what's on display before breakfast. Be safe today pic.twitter.com/sbdkgv9eD1
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, announced an emergency and halted a white nationalist rally, while U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the violence.
"I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and ordinary: go home," Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe told a news conference.
"You are not dreamed in this fine commonwealth. Shame on you," he said.
skip – Vid from rally four
State of emergency announced in Charlottesville, VA as white nationalists rally sparks clashes with counterprotesters https://t.co/FQUzBoy9b6 pic.twitter.com/sVro4uADu9
Trump responded to the violent clashes at a press conference in Fresh Jersey. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence – on many sides, on many sides," Trump said, adding: "No citizen should ever fear for their safety. The hate and division must stop now."
The incident took place as clashes erupted inbetween the white nationalists, who protested the planned removal of a Confederate general’s statue that critics say glorifies the era of slavery, counterprotesters who descended on the city.
skip – Vid from rally three
Counter protesters chant "Hate goes home" as protesters are leaving the park. Occasional clashes.#Charlottesville #Charlottesville pic.twitter.com/Or4Ig1W9Xs
Fighting broke out in the city’s downtown before noon when hundreds of people, some wearing white nationalist symbols and carrying Confederate battle flags, were confronted by a almost equal number of counter-protesters. The clashes began the previous evening, resulting in at least one arrest.
Evidently responding to the violent development, 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!"
Responding to the president, Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer, who is Jewish, tweeted: "Donald Trump, thanks, at long last, for condemning hate in speech and activity. Our work here is just beginning. Yours is too.”
skip – Movie of rally.
More than one hundred alt-right activists & white nationalists marched Friday night through University of Virginia's campus: https://t.co/d5hl7VzYOB pic.twitter.com/9c9kNqWEVl
Soon after the melee erupted, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced a state of emergency in the city, home of the University of Virginia’s flagship campus. The gathering was announced an "unlawful assembly," permitting police to disperse the protesters.
Many of the combatants on both sides wore helmets and held shields, and some brandished wooden poles. Militia members in the city openly carried rifles, albeit no gunfire was reported.
"You will not erase us," chanted a crowd of white nationalists, while counter-protesters carried placards that read: "Nazi go home" and "Smash white supremacy."
After the crowd was dispersed, dozens of law enforcement officers clad in riot gear were seen patrolling the streets, with petite clusters of protesters gathered in pockets in the surrounding streets.
Two people were injured in clashes on Saturday, Virginia State Police said on Twitter. Local law enforcement agencies could not be reached instantaneously for comment.
The clash unfolded ahead of the planned begin of a "Unite the Right" rally that was expected to draw thousands of people who are angry at the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a public park.
The incident highlights a persistent debate in the U.S. South over the display of the Confederate battle flag and other symbols of the rebel side in the Civil War, which was fought over the issue of slavery.
Supporters of removing statues such as the one of Robert E. Lee call them racially insensitive, while opponents say such moves reflect "empty political correctness" and that the Confederate symbols honor Southern heritage.
Lee was a symbol for white people threatened by immigration and "ethnic cleansing," blogger Jason Kessler, who organized the rally, said in an interview with Pennsylvania’s WHLM radio on Thursday.
More broadly, the confrontation reflects growing political polarization that has intensified since U.S. President Donald Trump’s election. The blunt-speaking Republican, who vowed to jiggle up Washington’s political culture, has emboldened both sides of the divide, providing rise to more florid rhetoric and a stable wave of protests.
The Charlottesville clashes embarked on Friday night when both groups threw punches and shoved each other as police moved in to break up the confrontation. At least one person was arrested on Friday, and several people were treated for minor injuries, the Daily Progress newspaper said.
The National Guard is on standby, with Virginia State Police coordinating security in the city of 45,000, the governor said in a statement on Friday.
City officials had planned to budge the event to a larger park beyond downtown, citing safety concerns at the 1-acre (0.Four hectare) Emancipation Park, where the rally was to be held. Kessler sued the city, and on Friday night a federal court sided with him.
Mimi Arbeit, an organizer of the planned counter-protests, rejected Kessler’s argument that the rally was about freedom of speech.
"Fascism functions by using the institutions of a democracy towards its own finishes," she told Reuters on Friday.