WEB DESK / AMN
Violent clashes erupted between white supremacists and counter demonstrators in a rally today in the US state of Virginia, prompting the authorities to declare an emergency.
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. Following the clashes, police and security forces were deployed in riot gears.
Photo: NewYork Times
According to reports one person was killed and 19 were injured when a speeding car slammed into a counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virgina where a ‘Unite the Right’ rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups had been scheduled take place. The city’s police chief said, the car involved in the ramming incident was later located a few streets away and the driver is in custody.
President Donald Trump has condemned the violence and and urged Americans to come together as one.
Earlier yesterday, the white nationalists clashed with counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville prompting the governor Terry McAuliffe to declare an emergency and stop a rally to protest the planned removal of a Confederate general from a public park. Police worked to disperse hundreds of protesters but the clashes broke out ahead of the rally’s scheduled time.
In addition to one death and 19 injuries in the car-ramming incident, there were at least 15 other reported injuries associated with the scheduled rally.
According to New York times — The city of Charlottesville was engulfed by violence on Saturday as white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in one of the bloodiest fights to date over the removal of Confederate monuments across the South.
White nationalists had long planned a demonstration over the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. But the rally quickly exploded into racial taunting, shoving and outright brawling, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency and the National Guard to join the police in clearing the area.
Those skirmishes mostly resulted in cuts and bruises. But after the rally at a city park was dispersed, a car bearing Ohio license plates plowed into a crowd near the city’s downtown mall, killing a 32-year-old woman. Some 34 others were injured, at least 19 in the car crash, according to a spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Noting that most of the protesters were from out of the state, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said, the emergency was declared to assist local government in restoring public safety.
In a Facebook post, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer condemned the demonstration by white nationalists.
US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to condemn the violence and called for unity.
The first public response from the White House came from the first lady, Melania Trump, who wrote on Twitter: “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.”
Former President Barack Obama responded to the violence on Twitter with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion… People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love..”
After the rally was dispersed, its organizer, Jason Kessler, who calls himself a “white advocate,” complained in an interview that his group had been “forced into a very chaotic situation.” He added, “The police were supposed to be there protecting us and they stood down.”