Thousands of white nationalists joined a rally held by Unite the Right in Emancipation Park protesting the removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which glorifies the era of slavery as critics say. The rally followed a night, when white nationalists organized a torch march at the University of Virginia.
Video footage suggests that the car rammed into protesters intentionally. Caution, the videos might offend sensibilities.
— Kevin Rincon (@KevRincon) 12 августа 2017 г.
According to media reports, the police detained the driver, the attack will be handled as a homicide, the city's commonwealth attorney said.
The protest's declared aim is to "affirm the right of Southerners and white people to organize for their interests just like any other group is able to do, free of persecution, as well as to "unify the right-wing against a totalitarian Communist crackdown" and to protest "displacement level immigration policies" in the US and Europe. It has been massively criticized as a "white nationalist" event.
Governor of the US state of Virginia declared a state of emergency on Saturday as a rally organized by far-right activists has turned violent in Charlottesville.
"Governor [Terry] McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville."
Governor McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) 12 августа 2017 г.
The state of emergency was declared as violent clashes started between the nationalists and their opponents. According to reports, several people were injured. Media reports suggested that tear gas and armored vehicles had been used to try stop the clashes.
The ‘Unite the Right Free Speech Rally’ came 3 months after alt-right activists held a torch-lit march against the removal of Confederate statue in Charlottesville and were confronted by counter-protesters.