Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Auto ploughs into crowd, kills one, at violent United States white nationalist rally

Auto ploughs into crowd, kills one, at violent United States white nationalist rally

After violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city declared the "Unite the Right" rally an unlawful assembly.

Two Virginia State Police troopers were also killed a short time later when their helicopter crashed near Charlottesville.

Police said the driver was arrested moments later and was being investigated for criminal homicide. At least two people were treated for serious but non-life-threatening emergencies from altercations by 10:30 a.m. Counter-protesters flooded the area to square off with the group of alt-right activists and white supremacists. A video showed some people encouraging fights and others using pepper spray against each other. "It's been going on for a long time in our country".

When asked what the president meant by "on many sides", a White House spokesman responded: "The President was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides".

The violence broke out ahead of the "Unite the Right" rally by white supremacists protesting against the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee from a park in the college town of Charlottesville, 256 kilometres from Virginia.

Officials had approved the protest march in downtown Charlottesville but cancelled the event and declared a state of emergency after outbreaks of violence.

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She also said that she does not believe inflammatory rhetoric, from either the right or the left, has a place because it "does not serve our nation well".

A commenter on the white nationalist website Stormfront, which describes itself as "the voice of the new, embattled White minority, "wrote that "some republicans want Trump to single out White Nationalists and put the blame on them for the violence of Antifa/blm".

Anti-racism protesters waved flags from the Black Lives Matter movement, chanting slogans like "We say no to racist fear" and "No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist United States of America".

Before the vehicle crash, Trump condemned the earlier clashes on Twitter, writing, "We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for".

"From what I saw, it looked extremely deliberate", Will Mafei, 23, of Charlottesville said.

Trump had not previously spoken about the clashes in Charlottesville on Saturday morning, which came after a Friday night rally by neo-Nazis marching through the historic University of Virginia campus with torches and Nazi garb.

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"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides", Trump told reporters at a news conference at his gold resort in New Jersey where he is now on a working summer vacation.

Trump's remarks came soon after the mayor of Charlottesville tweeted that one person had died as a result of the protests.

Following Trump's comment, several Republicans pushed for a more explicit denunciation of white supremacists.

For many Americans, they are outdated symbols of racism and slavery, and have been mobilizing to have them taken down from public places.

"We have to respect each other", Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence had also remained quiet until Trump tweeted his message Saturday, at which pointed the vice president appended it with a note urging people to "join together & oppose those seeking to divide us".

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