White supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend, spurring a wave of violence that left 19 injured and at least one dead after a auto plowed into anti-racist counter-protesters. Authorities say a vehicle plowed into a group of people marching peacefully through downtown Charlottesville. At least one of the injured was a university police officer.
Fighting has broken out at a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia between right-wing protesters demonstrating against the removal of a Confederate-era statue from Emancipation Park, and counter demonstrators. But they were outnumbered by hundreds of jeering counter protesters.
Some of the white nationalists cited Trump's victory as validation for their beliefs.
The torch-lit rally comes after a federal judge granted a temporary injunction, allowing the Unite the Right rally to be held at Emancipation Park on Saturday. "They will reveal themselves to be violent, intolerant, opposed to free speech, the insane enforcers of political correctness, etc.' The organizers of the rally want confrontation; do not gratify their desire".
Earlier this year city councillors voted to remove the statue and rename the park, which used to be called Lee Park, as part of a wider move across the region to tackle the history of the Confederacy, who fought to maintain slavery in the South.
Response teams from Richmond will be in Charlottesville this weekend, and the Virginia National Guard is on standby.
"White supremacists rallying in our town is an act of violence".
The state of Virginia shortly after declared the gathering unlawful and ordered both rallygoers and counterprotesters to "disperse immediately". It follows last month's Ku Klux Klan rally in the town that drew about 50 Klan members and about 1,000 counter-protesters.
The permit that was approved by the city of Charlottesville stated that they Unite the Rally could begin at noon. Men dressed in militia uniforms were carrying shields and openly carrying long guns.
"I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behaviour displayed by torch-bearing protestors that marched on our grounds this evening" she stated.