Virginia’s governor has declared a state of emergency in response to a white nationalist rally that is expected to draw up to 6,000 people.
A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally Saturday in a Virginia college town, killing one person, hurting at least two dozen more and ratcheting up tension in an increasingly violent confrontation.
A helicopter crash that killed the pilot and a passenger later in the afternoon outside Charlottesville also was linked to the rally by State Police, though officials did not elaborate on how the crash was connected.
CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.
President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed “many sides” for the violent clashes between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia and contended that the “hatred and bigotry” broadcast across the country had taken root long before his political ascendancy.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe said via his Twitter account on Saturday morning that the declaration was made in order “to aid state response to violence” at the rally in Charlottesville, about 100 miles outside of Washington, D.C.
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.
Hundreds of people are facing off in Charlottesville ahead of a white nationalist rally planned in the Virginia city’s downtown.
Rally supporters and counter-protesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday morning.
Men dressed in militia uniforms were carrying shields and openly carrying long guns.
Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a “pro-white” rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park. Thousands of people are expected to pack the area.
There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.
A university spokesman said one person was arrested and several people were injured.
Story by The Associated Press.