Several pedestrians were struck Saturday in a three-vehicle crash in Charlottesville, Virginia. Police were dispersing demonstrators from a white-nationalist and right-wing rally, the Virginia State Police said on Twitter. There are “multiple injuries,” police said.
Virginia’s governor Terry McAuliffe has declared an emergency, and police worked to disperse hundreds of protesters in after clashes broke out ahead of today’s Unite the Right rally of white nationalists and other right-wing groups.
According to CNN, here are the latest developments,
• Police began to break up crowds shortly before noon after city officials declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly.” Police officers spoke on bullhorns, directing people to leave.
• The declaration was made after fistfights and screaming matches erupted in several locations late Saturday morning.
• Some protesters fired pepper spray at other demonstrators, state police said.
• Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency “to aid state response to violence,” according to a post on his Twitter account.
• An unspecified number of protesters have been arrested in Charlottesville, state police said.
“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property,” McAullife said. “I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours.“
Jason Kessler, who organized the “Unite the Right” rally, said he doesn’t consider himself to be a white nationalist. He said,
“We’re going to start standing up for our history.
The statue itself is symbolic of a lot of larger issues. The primary three issues are preserving history against this censorship and revisionism — this political correctness. The second issue is being allowed to advocate for your interests as a white person, just like other groups are allowed to advocate for their interests politically. And finally this is about free speech. We are simply trying to express ourselves and do a demonstration, and the local government has tried to shut us down.“
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer released a statement referring to Friday’s rally as a
“cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights.
Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here’s mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.“
“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!“
That is some weak toast bullshit! This is your doing, asshole! You had better come out with at least as tough a statement against these racists as you have against North Korea’s provocations.
Police say the injuries range in severity from life-threatening to minor https://t.co/WGL8krUCfk
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) August 12, 2017
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) August 12, 2017
— Kim Kelly (@GrimKim) August 12, 2017
UPDTATE: Charlottesville mayor says 1 person dead after car slams into group of counter protesters of white nationalists,
“I am heartbroken“
JUST IN: Charlottesville mayor says 1 person dead after car slams into group of counter protesters of white nationalists: "I am heartbroken" pic.twitter.com/59cQcnfvA2
— ABC News (@ABC) August 12, 2017
UPDATE: • Two Virginia State Patrol troopers also died when a helicopter crashed in a wooded area near Charlottesville after monitoring Saturday’s events
(Photos, Twitter; via CNN)