Several hundred Unite the Right supporters gathered at the University of Virginia for a torch-lit rally. However, violence erupted when white nationalist groups clashed with counter-protestors. The governor of Virginia has declared a state of emergency.
Friday night, following the decision to remove symbols of its confederate past, white nationalist and right-winged groups from across the country joined together at the “Unite The Right” rally in the college town. According to NBC29, as the group marched through the university’s Lawn armed with lit tiki torches, Confederate flags and Nazi symbols eventually gathered around Thomas Jefferson‘s statue, as protestors began to chant:
“White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!”
Moreover, the groups were met at the statue by counter-protestors as the groups began to clash. The protesters reportedly began to exchange blows; pepper spray and mace was also used. The police arrived shortly after the fights ended. They ruled it an unlawful assembly, and people cleared out.
Click “Next” to view the chaotic scene Friday night at the University of Virginia.
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Moreover, the protest organizer, Jason Kessler, described the event as an:
“incredible moment for white people who’ve had it up to here and aren’t going to take it anymore.”
Following the previous night’s chaotic ending, hundreds gathered at Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, also home the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue. CNN reported that a few dozen white men wearing helmets and holding makeshift shields chanted:
“Blood and soil!”
Nearby was a group of counter-protestors and activists, which included Harvard professor, Dr. Cornel West, alongside clergy members. The group prayed and held hands while singing, “This Little Light Of Mine.”
As violence began to erupt at the rally, it was officially declared as an “unlawful gathering.” With over 1,000 police reportedly deployed, they began to direct people to leave the park. However, protestors continued to clash, causing a violent and chaotic scene.
Two people were reportedly injured. However, the number of arrests continue to climb. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency. Gov. McAuliffe also tweeted a statement in regards to the state of emergency.
Below is the Governor’s statement regarding the emergency declaration he authorized this morning: pic.twitter.com/yS1E9mispG
— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) August 12, 2017
Saturday’s protest marked as the second time in six weeks the residents of Charlottesville were met with protests from white supremacist groups in regards to the decision of removing the statue.
Click “Next” to view the chaos that erupted at Emancipation Park.
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