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State of emergency declared in Charlottesville, Virginia as vehicle plows into protesters killing 1, injuring 19A vehicle reportedly plowed into a group of counter-protesters at a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. One person was killed and at least 19 people are being treated for injuries. The attack came hours after violent clashes erupted between white nationalists and counter-protesters over a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate general from a public park.
Watch: Vehicle plows into a group of peaceful counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia
One person died and 19 were injured when a car rammed into peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday as the riots in the wake of the authorities’ attempt to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert Lee from a public park continued. Hundreds of counter-protesters arrived to confront the white supremacists and their racist signs and slogans at what the New York Times has said is the largest gathering of white supremacists in recent years.
Demonstrators organized the rally to demand that the statue of General Robert Lee, who commanded Confederate forces in the Civil War, remain in place and that the town council change the name of the park from Emancipation Park to one in General Lee's memory.
The rally quickly turned violent, however, as hundreds of right-wing activists- including members of the Ku Klux Klan- turned up armed with sticks and Confederate flags, chanting pro-Nazi phrases such as "Jew will not replace us." Police subsequently declared the rally an 'unlawful assembly' and the Virginia National Guard was 'closely monitoring the situation.' The Governor of Virginia has declared a state of emergency.
Today's clashes in Charlottesville came a day after violent confrontations erupted between counter-protesters and extremist right-wing activists carrying burning torches outside of the University of Virginia campus ahead of today's "Unite the Right" rally. Several injuries and arrests were reported.
US President Donald Trump issued a statement denouncing the violence: "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!" As news of the vehicular attack spread, other politicians have begun to weigh in; former US President Bill Clinton tweeted: "Even as we protect free speech and assembly, we must condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy." US Senator Bernie Sanders wrote: "The white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville not is a reprehensible display of racism and hatred that has no place in our society."
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