White supremacists march through UVA; brawl with protesters

White supremacists march through UVA; brawl with protesters

White supremacists march through UVA; brawl with protesters

It is unclear if anyone was injured or arrested.

"Unite the Right was expected to draw a broad spectrum of far-right extremist groups - from immigration foes to anti-Semitic bigots, neo-Confederates, Proud Boys, Patriot and militia types, outlaw bikers, swastika-wearing neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members - all of whom seem emboldened by the Trump presidency", according to the US nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

On July 8 a few dozen Ku Klux Klan marchers gathered in Charlottesville to protest plans to remove the statue of Lee.

Ku Klux Klan supporters staged a march in Virginia last month, but were easily outnumbered by counter-protesters.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides". President Trump called on Americans to "come together as one". Mark Warner, a Democrat, told the white nationalists to leave Charlottesville.

The White House was silent for hours except for a tweet from first lady Melania Trump: "Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts".

The march, dubbed the "Unite the Right: March on Charlottesville", was organized by criminally convicted Charlottesville local Jason Kessler and his white supremacist group Unity and Security for America. Scheduled speakers, including white nationalist Richard Spencer, were not given police protection in the melee, he added. "I urge all people of good will - go home". Counter demonstrators are also expected.

However, the town has become a focal point for white nationalists after the city council voted to remove a statue of General Lee.

At least seven people were hurt when a speeding vehicle slammed into another auto that was navigating through a throng of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, where a "Unite the Right" rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups was to take place. The team says it "vehemently" disagrees with and is not associated with the event.

In a statement Friday he said, "Many of the individuals coming to Charlottesville tomorrow are doing so in order to express viewpoints many people, including me, find abhorrent".

Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency, as violent clashes erupted between white supremacists and anti-fascist protesters.

Bottles were thrown and a number of fist fights broke out.

Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, spoke out against the rally on Twitter Saturday morning. Militia members in the city openly carried rifles, although no gunfire was reported.

The move comes ahead of a white nationalist rally planned in the small college town to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a city park. Thousands of people are expected to pack the area.

Videos posted on social media by reporters at the scene showed Tiki torch-wielding marchers chanting, "End immigration", "One people, one nation", and "Blood and soil".

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