Violent clashes erupt in Virginia rally, emergency declared

Violent clashes erupt in Virginia rally, emergency declared

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to weigh in on the violent demonstration, which has caused Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to issue a state of emergency.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine penned a extensive response on Facebook to Friday night's march.

Numerous combatants on both sides wore helmets and held shields, and some in the crowd brandished wooden poles.

A vehicle plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday afternoon, injuring several people, according to authorities and witnesses who posted to social media.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides".

Organizers say the Unite the Right rally on Saturday aims to "unify the right-wing against a totalitarian Communist crackdown" and to protest "displacement level immigration policies" in the United States and Europe. The National Guard is on standby, with Virginia State Police coordinating security in the city of 45,000, the governor said in a statement. Local law enforcement agencies could not be reached immediately for comment.

Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neoNazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

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He blamed Charlottesville officials for cancelling the rally.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chimed in, tweeting of the torch-bearing white nationalists, "their ideas are fueled by hate & have no place in civil society". The suit claims that Kessler's first amendment and constitutional rights were violated because on August 7, city officials initially tried to revoke his original event permit, and then changed the location of the event.

Earlier this year city councillors voted to remove the statue and rename the park, which used to be called Lee Park, as part of a wider move across the region to tackle the history of the Confederacy, who fought to maintain slavery in the South.

Eventually, more protestors arrived, carrying flags along East Market Street. Protesters claimed they were affected by pepper spray at the rally.

The night before Saturday's incident, white supremacists marched with tiki torches through the University of Virginia campus chanting "white lives matter" and "blood and soil". At least one person was arrested and several on campus were treated for minor injuries, the Daily Progress newspaper said. "There is no place for this kind of violence in America".

Charlottesville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a liberal-leaning city that's home to the flagship University of Virginia and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.