White nationalist rally, violence rock Virginia city; 1 dead

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

"The situation escalated rapidly into violence and we had no choice but to deploy additional personnel from the Virginia State Police, the Virginia National Guard, to help disperse the crowd and move people safely through the streets", Thomas said.

Virginia State Police said Saturday that the helicopter crashed in a wooded area near a home. Police said they are investigating the cause of the crash.

After rally attendees and protesters dispersed, a vehicle rammed into a group of people Saturday afternoon. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.

"It's been going on for a long time in our country", President Trump said of the hatred and bigotry in Charlottesville.

McAuliffe said he was "disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours".

The violence broke out ahead of the "Unite the Right" rally by white supremacists protesting against the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee from a park in the college town of Charlottesville, 256 kilometres from Virginia.

The White House, according to press pool reports, has been in contact today with the Virginia governor's office and has spoken with Gov. Terry McAuliffe's chief of staff. Tom Bossert, Trump's homeland security adviser, has been in contact with local authorities.

Prominent Democrats, civil rights activists and even a few Republicans said it was inexcusable of the president not to denounce white supremacy. He then wrote "There is no place for this kind of violence in America".

"We anticipated this event being the largest white supremacist gathering in over a decade", Segal said.

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President Trump earlier in the day on Twitter said Americans must unite against hate, although he didn't specifically condemn the white nationalist sentiment or Nazi symbols that appeared in Charlottesville.

Very soon after a shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June 2016, Trump tweeted that he was "right on radical Islamic terrorism".

"We have to respect each other", Trump said.

The founder of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi and white supremacist website that considers itself a part of the alt-right, celebrated the fact that Trump "outright refused to disavow" the white nationalist rally and movement.

Multiple witnesses told USA media the victims were counter-protestors denouncing the so-called "alt-right".

Trump was criticized by members of both political parties for not specifying white nationalists in his comments about the violence in Charlottesville. Lets come together as one!

There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches. "We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other".

The violence in Charlottesville 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.

Other reports by GizPress

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