The mayor of Charlottesville has Tweeted that one person has died in the violence in his city today. One person was killed and 19 injured as a result of a three car crash that ended up plowing into a group of pedestrians. Fifteen people were injured in the protests. Police in Charlottesville, Virginia have declared a local emergency after violent protest broke out between bands of white supremacists and counter-protesters early Saturday. According to the report, white nationalist groups planned a “Unite the Right” rally to march on the University of Virginia in support of the confederate statue that the state plans to remove. The groups believe the state is trying to erase their identity according to news outlets. The rally was set to begin at noon, however, Friday evening and just before noon on Saturday, violence broke out between several bands of the marchers and counter-protesters.
President Trump announced that the division in our nation “must stop now” and that many sides are at fault. He added that “we are all Americans first,” and that we have to respect and love each other.
Many of the white nationalist rally-goers were dressed in combat gear and helmets as they rushed a group of counter-protesters with their makeshift shields and wooden clubs. Both sides also sprayed each other with chemical irritants and threw plastic bottles through the air.
The National Guards has been called in to disburse the crowds as local authorities declared the Unite the Right rally at Emancipation Park where the confederate monument is located, an unlawful gathering.
— Ryan M. Kelly (@RyanMKellyPhoto) August 12, 2017
Authorities have confirmed that one person is dead and dozen were treated for injuries after a car plowed to the crowd of protesters. Two state troopers were also killed in a helicopter crash near the protest.
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— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) August 12, 2017
A Witness told Buzzfeed News’ Blake Montgomery that the car with no license plate and dark tinted windows backed up to gain more speed and drove into the crowd.
Tensions for the rally began to flare up Friday night, as several hundred white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia campus with torches chanting “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!”
Many counter-protesters packed a church to pray and organize Friday night before the two groups met at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the university’s campus where they clashed.
According to the Washington Post, the majority of the protesters seem to be men in their 20s and 30s though some were believed to be teens.
President Trump has since tweeted about the incident saying we must all come together at this time and not let hate divide us:
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe as well as University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan and Charlottesville Mayor Mike signer also spoke out on the violence:
The acts and rhetoric in #Charlottesville over past 24 hours are unacceptable & must stop. A right to speech is not a right to violence.
— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) August 12, 2017
University President Teresa A. Sullivan, “strongly condemned the demonstration,” the statement said, adding that the “intimidating and abhorrent behavior displayed by the alt-right protesters was wrong.”
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the event “a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance,” adding that he was “beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.