Horror in Charlottesville: One Dead After Driver Plows into Anti-Racist Demo

Ruben Ruiz
August 13, 2017

Both Virginia State Police troopers died Saturday when their police helicopter crashed and burned in Charlottesville, as they patrolled near the site of clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters.

There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.

It took him a while, but after a couple of formulaic, tepid tweets about the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which continued to roil throughout Saturday morning and afternoon, Donald Trump finally stood at a podium to speak out against hatred.

"Above all else, we must remember this truth: No matter our colour, creed, religion, or political party, we are all Americans first", he said. In the same speech, he said that the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville was an ongoing issue in America, and predated his administration. "Let's come together as one!"

"The hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now", Trump added.

Police declared the outbreak of violence represented an unlawful assembly and told the crowds to disperse.

"The entire community is a very left community that has absorbed these cultural Marxist principles advocated in college towns across the country, about blaming white people for everything", Kessler said.

Trump praised the state and local law enforcement in Virginia, along with the National Guard, for "working smart and working hard".

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"It is now clear that public safety can not be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property", McAuliffe wrote in a statement on his emergency declaration.

Others brandished Confederate flags, today considered a symbol of racism by many Americans.

Citing crowd safety concerns, the city of Charlottesville approved a protest permit earlier this week for the event to specifically be held in a different larger park instead of the smaller Emancipation Park where the Lee statue stands.

Fighting broke out on Saturday in the city's downtown, when hundreds of people, some wearing white nationalist symbols and carrying Confederate battle flags, were confronted by a almost equal number of counter-protesters.

And this time the extreme right brought in big names of the "alt-right" movement - which has been emboldened, critics say, by Donald Trump's ascent to the White House - in a bid to attract more supporters. "He said nothing in that statement that would cause any portion of his base to get the message that it's not a mark of American greatness to drive a auto into a crowd of people sending their bodies everywhere". "I urge all people of good will-go home", Mayor Mike Signer tweeted.

The Charlottesville violence is the latest clash between far-rightists, some of whom have claimed allegiance to Trump, and the president's opponents since his inauguration in January, when black-clad anti-Trump protesters in Washington smashed windows, torched cars and clashed with police, leading to more than 200 arrests.

"It's definitely something that changes you, I think, to witness in person, so everyone is very shaken up by what happened", Dietrich said.

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