Virginia governor declares state of emergency in response to white nationalist rally

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for what he termed a ``pro-white'' rally to protest the city of Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. Colleen Cook, 26, stood on a curb shouting at the rally attendees to go home.

By: AP | Charlottesville | Updated: August 13, 2017 12:41 am
White nationalist demonstrators use shields as they guard the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency soon after a clash broke out in University of Charlottesville where far right- extremists began violent clashes on early Saturday with counterprotesters. The police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday morning at white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

President Donald Trump on Saturday condemned the violence that erupted between white nationalists and counter-demonstrators on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a twitter message he wrote, “We must all be united & condemn all that hate stands for.” “There is no place for this kind of violence in America,” he added.

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Va. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia. (Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for what he termed a “pro-white” rally to protest the city of Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. Colleen Cook, 26, stood on a curb shouting at the rally attendees to go home. Cook, a teacher who attended the University of Virginia, said she sent her son, who is black, out of town for the weekend.

“This isn’t how he should have to grow up,” she said.

Cliff Erickson leaned against a fence and took in the scene. He said he thinks removing the statue amounts to erasing history and said the “counterprotesters are crazier than the alt-right.”

“Both sides are hoping for a confrontation,” he said.

It’s the latest confrontation in Charlottesville since the city about 100 miles outside of Washington, D.C., voted earlier this year to remove a statue of Lee. In May, a torch-wielding group that included prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer gathered around the statue for a nighttime protest, and in July, about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group traveled there for a rally, where they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters.

Kessler said this week that the rally is partly about the removal of Confederate symbols but also about free speech and “advocating for white people.”

A counter demonstrator throws a water bottle at an white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

“This is about an anti-white climate within the Western world and the need for white people to have advocacy like other groups do,” he said in an interview.

Between rally attendees and counter-protesters, authorities were expecting as many as 6,000 people, Charlottesville police said this week. Among those expected to attend are Confederate heritage groups, KKK members, militia groups and “alt-right” activists, who generally espouse a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which track extremist groups, said the event has the potential to be the largest of its kind in at least a decade.

Officials have been preparing for the rally for months. Virginia State Police will be assisting local authorities, and a spokesman said the Virginia National Guard “will closely monitor the situation and will be able to rapidly respond and provide additional assistance if needed.”

A white nationalist demonstrator, bloodied after a clash with a counter demonstrator, talks on the radio receiver at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Police instituted road closures around downtown, and many businesses in the popular open-air shopping mall opted to close for the day. Both local hospitals said they had taken precautions to prepare for an influx of patients and had extra staff on call. There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.

A university spokesman said one person was arrested and several people were injured. Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming racial prejudices with his campaign last year.

“I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.”

Charlottesville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a liberal-leaning city that’s home to the flagship University of Virginia and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. The statue’s removal is part of a broader city effort to change the way Charlottesville’s history of race is told in public spaces. The city has also renamed Lee Park, where the statue stands, and Jackson Park, named for Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. They’re now called Emancipation Park and Justice Park, respectively.

For now, the Lee statue remains. A group called the Monument Fund filed a lawsuit arguing that removing the statue would violate a state law governing war memorials. A judge has agreed to a temporary injunction that blocks the city from removing the statue for six months.

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  1. K
    Kushal Kumar
    Aug 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm
    News reports on 12 August say that communities belonging to different races turned violent in Virginia State , which has obviously caused concern in US. Relevant to this news report is this Vedic astrology writer’s alerts of September 2017 for more care and appropriate straegy in article - “ Astrological probable alerts for US in 2017” - published last year in December 2016 issue of wisdom-magazine . While predicting that August- September in 2017 may be presenting major worrisome concerns in US , it was also said : -“ Briefly speaking , there is a need to take recourse to restraint among different communities and races”. So the violent incident of 12 August in Virginia , looks to be pointing to meaningfulness of the alert of this writer.
    Reply
    1. J
      JayHind
      Aug 13, 2017 at 3:18 am
      DIVISION MAKES CORPORATION AND BANKS MORE RITCH WORLD IS DIVIDED IN SOME FROM FOR BENEFIT FOR THESE MAFIAS
      Reply
      1. R
        RANA
        Aug 13, 2017 at 1:28 am
        The black nig.ggers are just a retar.ded violent race who should be dealt as animals are dealt with...but before that kill those white poosys supporting those nigge.rs
        Reply
        1. U
          undefined
          Aug 13, 2017 at 3:29 am
          you Indians lived as slaves to Muslim invaders for 700 years and survived by paying Hindu Tax and allowing them to raid your family and take your daughters and wife as s-e-x slaves to their harem to disgrace you as slaves. Muslims demolished your temples and built tombs to insult you and to prove that you are slaves to them. Then they get their own Islamic state and stay in your land. Baber tomb is symbol of your enslavement to Muslims! Now in US they are are moving the statueswhich stands for slavary of slavery. You cowards and congress! will you remove ship the Aurangzeb , Baber etc slavery symbols to Islamic Republic of Pakistan ?
          Reply
          1. J
            Joseph Mumbai
            Aug 13, 2017 at 4:37 am
            Rana you sound re tarded. White Supremacist will k ill you too. For White Supremacist you are a ni gger too. They give highest regard to blonde hair and blue eyes, Northern Europeans and Italians and Spanish last. In that order.
            Reply