Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Saturday when White Supremacists clashed with counter-protesters in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neoNazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.”
Alt-Right groups planned a protest the Charlottesville park ostensibly to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General and prominent Virginian Robert E. Lee. But a torch light rally last night, coupled with the prominent display of not only Confederate flags at today’s rally, but Nazi signs, slogans, uniforms and other paraphernalia at today’s gathering, made the White Supremacist motives of the rally clear.
Hundreds of counter protesters descended on the Virginia college town to confront the rally attendees, and police barriers proved inadequate to separate the two groups. Chants soon turned ugly, with television crews recording rally attenders yelling “Heil Trump!” And “Blood and Soil” – the English translation of a prominent Nazi slogan from the 1930s, “Blut und Boden.”
After some in the White supremacist gathering began throwing tear gas canisters into crowds of protesters, all hell broke loose. Clashes with bats and sticks erupted and people scattered in disarray. Police struggled to contain the chaos as reporters captured bruised and bloodied protesters strewn on the streets of Charlottesville.
Another fight. Cops nowhere. pic.twitter.com/MYcXDL2p44
— baynardwoods (@baynardwoods) August 12, 2017
By 1:00 pm, the Virginia National Guard had been deployed and calm largely restored. But the damage had been done. “This has not been a good day for Charlottesville, and it’s not been a good day for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Corinne Geller, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police.