On Friday night, hundreds of marchers descended on the University of Virginia carrying torches and yelling slogans “white lives matter” and “blood and soil”.
Protests turned violent in Charlottesville on Saturday, as white supremacists clashed with counter-demonstrators and a car ploughed into a crowd of anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators.
Here is what we know.
Organised by Jason Kessler, a former journalist and a member of the Proud Boys, an ultra-nationalist group, the “Unite the Right” rally was planned to voice opposition to the removal of the statue of Confederate icon General Robert E Lee.
Protesters gathered again on Saturday and clashed with counter-demonstrators. At 11:40am a car struck the counter-demonstrators.
At least one person was killed and 35 injured.
Later in the afternoon, a police helicopter crashed and killed the pilot and a passenger outside Charlottesville while en route to the rally, though officials did not elaborate the details.
This took place in Charlottesville, a university town of 46,000 people, in the state of Virginia, US.
Charlottesville has become a focal point of the resurgent white supremacist movement after officials there voted to take down a statue of the Confederate General Robert E Lee.
20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr was arrested shortly after the incident and was charged with second-degree murder and three counts of malicious wounding.
- 32-year-old Heather Heyer died following the car ramming.
- Two police officers that were on-board of the crashed helicopter died.
- 35 people were injured at the rally, 19 confirmed by the hospital 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) August 12, 2017
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
Senator Bernie Sanders, also condemned the clashes and said “it was a reprehensible display of racism and hatred”
The white nationalist demonstration in #Charlottesville is a reprehensible display of racism and hatred that has no place in our society.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 12, 2017
Senator Cory Gardner a labelled them as ‘domestic terrorism’ :
Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism. https://t.co/PaPNiPPAoW
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 12, 2017
What happens next?
Governor Payne declared a state of emergency while the FBI announced its own investigation into the incident.
A fundraising campaign for the family of a woman killed in a car-ramming attack in the US town of Charlottesville has raised tens of thousands of dollars.
Source: Al Jazeera News