1 Dead in Charlottesville as Clashes Break Out at White Supremacist Rally, Protests

Charlottesville rally
Courtesy of Twitter

UPDATE Aug. 12, 12:30 p.m. PT: Charlottesville mayor Michael Signer has confirmed that at least one person has died during the riots, but did not provide any further details.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hundreds of demonstrators, including white nationalists, white supremacists, and the alt-right, clashed with other protesters in Charlottesville, Va. early Saturday as the right wing groups planned to rally to defend a statue of Civil War confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from being removed.

Shortly before noon, Charlottesville police declared that the gathering was an unlawful assembly and ordered that demonstrators disburse. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency  to assist in the state’s response, as did local officials. Local police had the support of the National Guard.

Two people were injured in the clashes between the the white nationalists and other protesters, police said. The injuries were described as “serious but not life-threatening.”

The rally was planned in front of the statue at Emancipation Park following a march on Friday night at the University of Virginia, in which the white demonstrators, mainly young men, carried tiki torches. It was a chilling scene reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan marches that countered the civil rights era of the 1950s and ’60s.

Police had said between 2,000 and 6,000 demonstrators were expected.

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Small fights broke out on Saturday morning, with pepper spray and smoke bombs used and water bottles thrown in the air. The clashes took place at 2nd Street and Market in the heart of the city as the white nationalists chanted “blood and soil,” a phrase that was popularized in Germany at the start of the Nazi era in the 1930s. They also chanted “F— you faggots” at counter protesters.

Some of the counter protesters chanted, “black lives matter.”

“The acts and rhetoric in over past 24 hours are unacceptable and must stop,” McAuliffe said on Twitter Saturday morning. “A right to speech is not a right to violence.”

Ed Gillespie, the Republican nominee for governor, tweeted that “having a right to spew vile hate doesn’t make it right. Painful to see ugly display in C-ville last night. God bless police who keep order.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan condemned the scene, saying that “the views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.” The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, also condemned the white supremacists, which included self-described Nazis. One man wore a T-shirt with a quote from Adolf Hitler.

The University of Virginia cancelled all events and classes on Saturday afternoon.

President Donald Trump has not yet weighed in on the planned demonstrations.

Chelsea Clinton tweeted out, “Mr. President?”

First Lady Melania Trump condemned the hate speech and violence.

The Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the Lee statue and to rename Lee Park to Emancipation Park. A number of municipalities across the country have removed emblems from the Confederate era, including the Confederate flag.

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  1. Todd P says:

    It’s funny that when people from the South and whites PEACEFULLY stand up for their heritage that has NOTHING to do with slavery or racism and the right to free speech that people call them names but when violent black organizations and domestic terrorist groups like Antifa and the Black Lives Mater come in can constantly commit acts of violence against peaceful rallies these news agencies flat out refuse to call them what they are which are actual black supremacy domestic terrorist groups and they MUST be treated as such.

    The people holding the rally was standing up for our rights and some Federal funded KKK people show up then trained and paid Antifa terrorists are bused in with coolers of water balloon filled with urine, feces, chemicals that burn the skin and even teargas and other weapons to start this violence. Then the law enforcement FORCE the two groups together and force multiple reporters in the middle which resulted in multiple reporters and their camera people attacked.

    Then to make matter worse the mayor knew there was going to be violence before the rally even started when he order the law enforcement to stand down when the violence started and some reporters even reported some officers laughing while people were fighting.

    The main person to blame for this tragedy IS the Mayor of this city who knowingly allowed this violence to start when he could have stopped it before it started and the ALLOWED it to escalate like we have seen in other democrat cities where they ordered to stand down to allow the violence. This mayor has that dead girl’s blood on his hands and he SHOULD be brought up on charges for his actions.

    As for Antifa and terrorist groups like this they MUST be brought to justice for the constant crimes and terrorist acts they keep committing across the country and they MUST be prosecuted with the MAXIMUM penalty under the law and I mean prison time NOT probation of jail.

    We MUST also go after and ARREST the democrats, George Soros and others who are funding these terrorist groups who are training and funding these radical groups because if you do not stop the funding this violence will NOT stop until it forces the country into a civil war to stop them.

    And the third to blame is the media like CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post and others like them that keep fueling this violence by praising these terrorists groups and blaming peaceful people at rallies for the attack like the keep blaming President Trump for things he has never done. AGAIN these media outlets have blood on their hands on the girl’s death as well.

    It seems that it may be up to President Trump to order and investigation into these terrorist groups and their funding and bring them ALL to justice for their crimes and then go after the media outlets who are accomplices in these crimes not only against Americans but our country as well because until we start standing up to these terrorists then they WILL continue their reign of terror and MANY more innocent people will die at their hands.

    Americans need to understand the democrats, Soros and other ARE funding these groups and the TV media and others ARE supporting them to commit violence to shut down our rights to assemble and our rights to Free Speech while they keep their own. This IS divide and conquer to force us to fight among ourselves so they can start a civil war to blame Trump so they can come in and take over and finish off the destruction of our country that obama and hillary started.

    So STOP blaming PEACEFUL Trump supporters and people who peacefully assemble for their rights to free speech and their right to protect their heritage when the stupidity and ignorance of others over rides their common sense when it is the left like the groups I mentions who are the problem.

    Most of the country are already together and supporting our rights and our new leader but these paid terrorists are here to destroy all of that so EVERYONE must DEMAND their President, state and local leaders and law enforcement to start bringing these people to justice so we can stop this violence.

  2. Nikki says:

    The article conveniently leaves out that Obama invited Black Lives Matter to the White House.

  3. I’m just glad Chelsea’s on the case! Why is this article in Variety?

  4. Gahan says:

    Copy you, Bethy. Leftists are trying to pull a Chairman Mao style Cultural Revolution and destroy all the amazing and brilliant history of the United States.
    News Flash to the Left. Unlike Mao, you will be swept aside into the dust bin of History.
    God Bless America.
    We haven’t even begun fighting.

    • cadavra says:

      Give it up. If it weren’t for “leftists,” we’d still be an English colony.

      History! It’s fun and free! Check it out!

  5. Violence is not the answer! Love, compassion and a sincere effort at understanding & tolerance will serve our families & communities. PEACE!

  6. Sam says:

    Yah well a lot of people died to get that statue for their memorial in history.
    Right or wrong no matter race people died for a belief and they have as much right as anyone else to have their memorial.
    Go make your own, stop refusing the rights of anyone else. Definition of hate crime.

  7. The Truth says:

    “Complete and utter bullshit aptly describes your post.” Sooner or later, being on the wrong side of history has consequences.

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