Pres. Trump responds to Virginia violence; 1 reported dead in protest

Photo; Virginia State Police Twitter

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 12 (Gephardt Daily/UPI) — President Donald Trump has tweeted a response after violence in Charlottesville, Va., enters a second day following a protest between white nationalists and counterprotesters.

On Saturday morning, three cars collided in the area of the protest, seriously injuring several people. Video shown on CNN shows the driver of a Dodge sedan ramming into the back of another car, forcing it into a third car, then reversing at high speed to flee the area.

Shortly afterward, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer tweeted that at least one person had died during the protests.

All of this followed a night of violence, including protest participants fighting and attacking each other with the poles of flags they carried, according to CNN.

Trump’s tweet said there was no place for such acts in America:

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,” Trump’s tweet said. ‘There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets (sic) come together as one!”

In the car crash aftermath, CNN said one of its reporters saw at least one female victim being given CPR.

As of 1 p.m., the protests were ongoing, and all indications were that they would continue.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared the state of emergency Saturday morning “to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville” as authorities, including police and members of the National Guard, blocked off sections of the city and cleared Emancipation Park, the intended site of the rally, called Unite the Right, the Daily Progress reported.

Emancipation Park, formerly called Lee Park, has been the scene of several clashes between opposing activists this year. In April, the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from the park, prompting protests and lawsuits from more than one group. In May, as reported by CBS News and the Associated Press, a group of white nationalists, including “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer, lit torches in Lee Park and chanted “you will not replace us” and “Russia is our friend,” as they rallied against removing the statue. A large counterprotest was held the next day.

On Saturday, police initially declared an unlawful assembly at Emancipation Park at 11:35 a.m., just before the scheduled noon start time for the rally, attended by Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke. City officials expected thousands of demonstrators to attend.

A single arrest was reported, and emergency personnel responded to at least eight injuries related to the rally.

The violence Saturday morning came hours after a similar demonstration on Friday night that ended in clashes between torch-bearing white nationalists and counterprotesters. Police also shut down that demonstration.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also spoke out against the “repugnant” views and “vile bigotry” on display at the rallies in Charlottesville.

The Washington Post reported police used megaphones to order protesters out of Emancipation Park as neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists clashed with a spectrum of counterprotesters that included anti-fascists, clergy and Black Lives Matter activists.

Members of a self-described militia, dressed in camouflage and armed with long guns, also were present and claimed they intended to keep the peace between opposing protesters.

After the park was cleared, protesters carrying Confederate flags, Nazi symbols and other anti-Semitic signs marched to McIntire Park, a larger location where city officials had previously tried to move the rally.

The University of Virginia, where Friday’s torch-lit rally took place, canceled all scheduled events and programming at the university on Saturday.

“Due to the ongoing public safety concerns in downtown Charlottesville and as a result of both the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle declaring a local state of emergency, the University of Virginia is cancelling all scheduled events and programming today effective at noon,” the university said.

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