Charlottesville attack: What, where and who? | News


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.

What happened and when? 

A rally was planned for Friday to protest the removal of a Confederate statue and was described as one of the largest white supremacist events in recent US history.

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. 

Where did it happen? 

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.

Who was behind it?

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.

How many casualties?

  • 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. 

Is Charlottesville now safe? What is the latest on the ground?

Police eventually intervened after clashes broke out and dispersed the crowd, and Governor Payne declared a state of emergency. 

What are people saying?

On Saturday, US President Donald Trump condemned the clashes in Charlottesville in a Twitter post:

Senator Bernie Sanders, also condemned the clashes and said “it was a reprehensible display of racism and hatred”

Senator Cory Gardner a labelled them as ‘domestic terrorism’ : 

What happens next?

Governor Payne declared a state of emergency while the FBI announced its own investigation into the incident.

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

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