A Dodge Challenger (pictured) intentionally plowed into counter protesters, killing one woman and hospitalizing 19 others, as violence erupted at a rally where thousands of white nationalists gathered for an alt-right event in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. Police said a total of 35 people were treated for injuries

Ohio man held on suspicion of murder in Charlottesville

A 20-year-old Ohio man was arrested on Saturday after he ‘intentionally drove his vehicle into a crowd of anti-fascists at white nationalist rally, killing one woman and injuring 19 others’ in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Video of the Dodge Challenger, which is registered to James Alex Fields Jr, of Ohio, shows the driver accelerating into the crowd throwing bodies into the air as people scream before reversing at high speed.

The incident killed a 32-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released by authorities pending her family’s notification.

The alleged driver of the car was apprehended and is currently in police custody. He was arrested a few blocks away from the bloody scene.

According to The Washington Post, a man with the same name and age of Fields was booked into the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail on Saturday.

Martin Kumer, the jail’s superintendent, told the Post that the man was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding, failure to stop for an accident involving a death, and hit and run. Kumer said Fields is being held without bail.

Police have not officially released the name of the suspect in custody.

The deadly crash came after violent clashes erupted as hundreds of white supremacists including armed militias marched into Charlottesville sparking violent confrontations with counter-protesters. Police cleared the scene with tear gas but the violence continued.

Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said a total of 35 people had been treated for injuries, 14 of those were from individual engagements on the streets.

Horrifying video from the scene of the attack showed the silver muscle car speeding towards a group of fleeing anti-fascist protesters.

Another clip showed the vehicle ramming into the crowd at high speed and victims crying out in pain as they desperately sought medical help.

Witnesses said the car was traveling up to 40 miles an hour when it hit and reversed before ramming into the crowd again and speeding off with someone’s shoe attached to its bumper.

Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe strongly condemned all of the so-called ‘patriotic’ white nationalists during a press conference Saturday evening.

‘Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth,’ McAuliffe proclaimed.

‘You are not patriots,’ he said. ‘You came here today to hurt people and that is not patriotic,’ McAuliffe added.

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A Dodge Challenger (pictured) intentionally plowed into counter protesters, killing one woman and hospitalizing 19 others, as violence erupted at a rally where thousands of white nationalists gathered for an alt-right event in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. Police said a total of 35 people were treated for injuries

A Dodge Challenger (pictured) intentionally plowed into counter protesters, killing one woman and hospitalizing 19 others, as violence erupted at a rally where thousands of white nationalists gathered for an alt-right event in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. Police said a total of 35 people were treated for injuries

Witnesses said the car was traveling up to 40 miles an hour when it hit and reversed before ramming into the crowd again and speeding off with someone's shoe attached to its bumper

Witnesses said the car was traveling up to 40 miles an hour when it hit and reversed before ramming into the crowd again and speeding off with someone’s shoe attached to its bumper

The alleged driver of the car was apprehended and is currently in police custody. He was arrested a few blocks away from the bloody scene. The suspect's name has not yet been released. Pictured: The car that allegedly ran into several people

The alleged driver of the car was apprehended and is currently in police custody. He was arrested a few blocks away from the bloody scene. The suspect’s name has not yet been released. Pictured: The car that allegedly ran into several people

A counter protester had allegedly thrown a rock at the car, causing the driver to swivel around and accelerate into people and two cars in its way, before driving away from the scene

A counter protester had allegedly thrown a rock at the car, causing the driver to swivel around and accelerate into people and two cars in its way, before driving away from the scene

Rescue personnel help an injured woman after a car ran into a large group of counter protesters. There were several hundred people marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them

Rescue personnel help an injured woman after a car ran into a large group of counter protesters. There were several hundred people marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them

Rescue personnel help an injured man after the car drove into a large group of protesters after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville

Rescue personnel help an injured man after the car drove into a large group of protesters after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville

Local police reported there were multiple injures and three vehicles were involved in the crash. Pictured: The two vehicles that were rammed into by a Dodge Challenger

Local police reported there were multiple injures and three vehicles were involved in the crash. Pictured: The two vehicles that were rammed into by a Dodge Challenger

People were heard screaming and crying in the aftermath of the smash, as blood was splattered on a car's windshield and victims were desperately calling out for medical help

People were heard screaming and crying in the aftermath of the smash, as blood was splattered on a car’s windshield and victims were desperately calling out for medical help

Witnesses said moments before the car plowed into the crowd, a counter-protester had allegedly thrown a rock at the car, causing the driver to swivel around and ram into people and two cars in its way.

In addition to the dozen of people hurt in the accident, at least 15 people were already being treated for their injures during other destructive clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at Emancipation Park before the controversial Unite the Right rally.

President Trump admonished the day’s tragic events, saying in a press conference: ‘We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, violence, on many sides… The hate and division must stop, and must stop right now.’

There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them and police said the crash happened near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets.

Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, said counter-protesters were marching when ‘suddenly there was just this tire screeching sound.’

The silver sedan smashed into another car, then backed up, plowing through ‘a sea of people.’

People scattered, running for safety in different directions, he said.

Witness Nic McCarthy told C-VILLE Weekly: ‘There was someone in a dark vehicle that sped, very quickly, down this road and rammed into the crowd.

‘People… He backed up and he went back in again.’

McCarthy added: ‘There was a girl that was caught and she was trying to get up and it ran over her again. I hope the cops catch these terrorists.’

The day was met with more tragedy, when a Virginia State Police helicopter, believed to be carrying two people, crashed inside city limits and thick black smoke was seen rising from behind the trees, according to local reports.

According to WSET, there were two people on board the helicopter when it crashed, however it is not known if there are any injuries or fatalities.

Warning: Explicit language

The day was met with more tragedy, when a Virginia State Police helicopter, believed to be carrying two people, crashed inside city limits and thick black smoke was seen rising from behind the trees, according to local reports

The day was met with more tragedy, when a Virginia State Police helicopter, believed to be carrying two people, crashed inside city limits and thick black smoke was seen rising from behind the trees, according to local reports

A 10-second video posted to Twitter and filmed on a golf course shows thick black smoke rising from behind the trees
It is unknown if there are any injuries or fatalities from the crash

A 10-second video posted to Twitter and filmed on a golf course shows thick black smoke rising from behind the trees. It is unknown if there are any injuries or fatalities from the crash

Upsetting video footage of the vehicle ramming into the crowd, described by some as a terror attack, was uploaded online moments after the fatal collision

Upsetting video footage of the vehicle ramming into the crowd, described by some as a terror attack, was uploaded online moments after the fatal collision

A vehicle reverses after driving into a group of protesters demonstrating against the day's white nationalist rally

A vehicle reverses after driving into a group of protesters demonstrating against the day’s white nationalist rally

There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them and police said the crash happened near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets

There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them and police said the crash happened near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets

It is believed a counter protester had thrown a rock at the vehicle, causing the driver to swivel around and ram into people and cars in its way, before driving off with someone’s shoe attached to its bumper.

The horrifying scenes in Virginia came after violent clashes erupted between white nationalists and activists.

Upsetting video footage of the vehicle ramming into the crowd, described by some as a terror attack, was uploaded online moments after the fatal collision.

Another witness claimed the act was intentional. He said: ‘Yeah, it was intentional.About 40 miles an hour, hit about 15-20 people, crashed into the two cars in front of it, and then backed up and sped away while cops were standing on the side of the road and didn’t do anything.’

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer announced the death on Twitter. He wrote: ‘I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will – go home.’

There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them

There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them

A witness claimed the act was intentional. He said : 'Yeah, it was intentional.About 40 miles an hour, hit about 15-20 people, crashed into the two cars in front of it, and then backed up and sped away while cops were standing on the side of the road and didn’t do anything'

A witness claimed the act was intentional. He said : ‘Yeah, it was intentional.About 40 miles an hour, hit about 15-20 people, crashed into the two cars in front of it, and then backed up and sped away while cops were standing on the side of the road and didn’t do anything’

President Trump admonished the day's tragic events, saying in a press conference: 'We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, violence, on many sides... The hate and division must stop, and must stop right now'

President Trump admonished the day’s tragic events, saying in a press conference: ‘We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, violence, on many sides… The hate and division must stop, and must stop right now’

President Trump admonished the day's outcome, tweeting: 'Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!'

President Trump admonished the day’s outcome, tweeting: ‘Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!’

President Trump added: '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!'

President Trump added: ‘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!’

First Lady Melania Trump tweeted: 'Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence'

First Lady Melania Trump tweeted: ‘Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence’

On Saturday evening Trump followed up with this tweet in which he sent his 'deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today'

On Saturday evening Trump followed up with this tweet in which he sent his ‘deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today’

Trump took a break from his time in Bedminister to condemn the violence in Charlottesville but also took the time to announce the signing of legislation to expand a veterans health care program.

He said: ‘We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other.’

Trump had earlier tweeted about the violence that erupted amid the white supremacist march. He tweeted that ‘we ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for.’ He then wrote ‘There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!’

The White House was silent for hours about the clashes except for a solitary tweet from First Lady Melania Trump. The president has received previous criticism for being slow to condemn acts of hate done in his name.

And though the White House may have been slow to condemn the hateful acts, Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe gave a powerful speech in which he said all of the so-called ‘patriotic’ white nationalists are not wanted in the United States.

And though the White House may have been slow to condemn the hateful acts, Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe (pictured) gave a powerful speech in which he said all of the so-called 'patriotic' white nationalists are not wanted in the United States. 'My message is clear we are stronger than you. You will not succeed,' he said

And though the White House may have been slow to condemn the hateful acts, Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe (pictured) gave a powerful speech in which he said all of the so-called ‘patriotic’ white nationalists are not wanted in the United States. ‘My message is clear we are stronger than you. You will not succeed,’ he said

A counter demonstrator uses a lighted spray can against a white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park

A counter demonstrator uses a lighted spray can against a white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park

Thousands of white supremacists took to the streets of Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally on Saturday

Thousands of white supremacists took to the streets of Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally on Saturday

A white supremacist wore a World War II German helmet upon his arrival to the violent rally

A white supremacist wore a World War II German helmet upon his arrival to the violent rally

‘My message is clear we are stronger than you. You will not succeed,’ he said. ‘There is no place for you here and there is no place for you in America.’

McAuliffe also said he spoke to the president on Saturday following the horrific acts of violence in Virginia.

‘I told the president that there has got to be a movement in this country to bring us together,’ he said.

McAuliffe said he told the president that he’s willing to ‘work with him to stop the hate speech and the bigotry in this country’.

During Saturday evening’s press conference, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas, confirmed that a total of 35 people had been treated for injuries, 14 of those came from individual engagements on the streets.

Nine pedestrians were treated with injuries that ranged from ‘life-threatening to minor’ after the car plowed through the crowd.

Thomas said the 32-year-old woman was struck by the vehicle as she was crossing the street. He didn’t release any information on the woman pending her family’s notification.

He said the incident is still under investigation and will be investigated as a criminal homicide.

The crash occurred approximately two hours after violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters earlier that day during the planned Unite the Right rally.

Hundreds were seen stomping through the city, wearing militia uniforms, waving flags and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ as they made their way towards the event on Saturday morning.

Counter-protesters flocked to the march in retaliation against the white nationalists, neo-Confederates and alt-right activists, screaming: ‘We’re here, we’re gay, we fight the KKK!’

First Lady Melania Trump tweeted: ‘Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.’

The protest hadn’t officially started but social media videos showed the rally was escalating as people were seen throwing objects, breaking out into fights and people spraying mace into the crowd.

Arrests were made after police in riot gear attempted to clear the park and a group of protesters pushed back against them, while the battle between the two protester groups continued to rage on in the streets of the city.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer had denounced the ‘cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights’ and warned for residents to stay away from the rally.

At least 15 people were seriously injured earlier during the day during clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at Emancipation Park before the controversial Unite the Right rally on Saturday. A video appears to show the altercation, as a man is being dragged away while a woman screams: 'Don't allow them to do this!'

At least 15 people were seriously injured earlier during the day during clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at Emancipation Park before the controversial Unite the Right rally on Saturday. A video appears to show the altercation, as a man is being dragged away while a woman screams: ‘Don’t allow them to do this!’

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer denounced the 'cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights' and warned for residents to stay away from the rally

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer denounced the ‘cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights’ and warned for residents to stay away from the rally

The Unite the Right rally was being held at Emancipation Park and hundreds were seen stomping through the city, wearing militia uniforms, waving flags and chanting 'Blood and Soil' as they made their way towards the event

The Unite the Right rally was being held at Emancipation Park and hundreds were seen stomping through the city, wearing militia uniforms, waving flags and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ as they made their way towards the event

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' clash with counter-protesters

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ clash with counter-protesters

Police were in position at Emancipation Park and downtown Charlottesville by 6am as they prepared for the rally.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 people from groups including white nationalists, neo-Confederates and alt-right activists were expected to protest at the park, which had recently been renamed from Lee Park.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a ‘pro-white’ rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Supporters and counter-protesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other. Men dressed in militia uniforms were carrying shields and openly carrying guns.

The protest hadn’t yet begun when two people were seriously injured and protesters reportedly deployed pepper spray, according to state police.

Jason Kessler, the organizer of the rally, said he disavows the violence that eroded it.

The alt-right blogger said in an interview later that day that whoever drove a car into a group of counter-protesters ‘did the wrong thing.’ He said he was saddened that people were hurt.

Kessler is a local blogger and activist who described the event as a pro-white rally. He planned it to protest the city’s decision to remove a Confederate monument.

He also criticized law enforcement’s response to the event, which was dispersed before speakers could take the stage. He said they did a poor job controlling the chaos to allow free speech.

Warning: Explicit language

Already violence pic.twitter.com/pYuq32vdwT

— brandon soderberg (@notrivia) August 12, 2017

A white supremacist stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville

A white supremacist stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville

Several Nazi flags were seen proudly raised during the controversial rally protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Several Nazi flags were seen proudly raised during the controversial rally protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Images show the two opposing sides of the crowd throwing bottles and becoming increasingly violent

Images show the two opposing sides of the crowd throwing bottles and becoming increasingly violent

They were gathered because right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a 'pro-white' rally to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee

They were gathered because right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a ‘pro-white’ rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee

The violence, which erupted ahead of the rally's start time of noon, forced the city to declare a local emergency around 11am and determined the event was an unlawful assembly, using tear gas bombs to clear the unruly crowd

The violence, which erupted ahead of the rally’s start time of noon, forced the city to declare a local emergency around 11am and determined the event was an unlawful assembly, using tear gas bombs to clear the unruly crowd

A white nationalist demonstrator, bloodied after a clash with a counter demonstrator, talks on the radio receiver

A white nationalist demonstrator, bloodied after a clash with a counter demonstrator, talks on the radio receiver

A group of white activists clash with others at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville on Saturday morning

A group of white activists clash with others at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville on Saturday morning

Social media videos show the crowd throwing bottles and objects as police film the interaction from behind fences but don’t intervene.

Brawls broke out as people in militia gear tackled others to the ground and began throwing punches.

Christopher Mathias, a reporter for the Huffington Post tweeted: ‘Just witnessed a violent fight in a parking garage. Nazi dude pulled a gun. Some bad injuries.’

Officials declared a local emergency shortly after 11am. 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 black son 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 ‘counter protesters are crazier than the alt-right. Both sides are hoping for a confrontation,’ he said.

We are breaking down and relocating – being hit with tear gas bombs. My view from behind the barricade: pic.twitter.com/iGKaFb5oXT

— Craig Stanley (@_CraigStanley) August 12, 2017

City officials declared a local emergency shortly after 11am. Brawls broke out as people in militia gear tackled others to the ground and began throwing punches

City officials declared a local emergency shortly after 11am. Brawls broke out as people in militia gear tackled others to the ground and began throwing punches

Counter-protesters flocked to the march in retaliation (pictured) against the white nationalists, screaming: 'We're here, we're gay, we fight the KKK!'

Counter-protesters flocked to the march in retaliation (pictured) against the white nationalists, screaming: ‘We’re here, we’re gay, we fight the KKK!’

The Unite the Right rally was being held at Emancipation Park and hundreds were seen stomping through the city, wearing militia uniforms, waving flags and chanting 'Blood and Soil' as they made their way towards the event

The Unite the Right rally was being held at Emancipation Park and hundreds were seen stomping through the city, wearing militia uniforms, waving flags and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ as they made their way towards the event

Christopher Mathias, a reporter for the Huffington Post tweeted: 'Just witnessed a violent fight in a parking garage. Nazi dude pulled a gun. Some bad injuries'

Christopher Mathias, a reporter for the Huffington Post tweeted: ‘Just witnessed a violent fight in a parking garage. Nazi dude pulled a gun. Some bad injuries’

A local resident of Charlottesville who did not wish to be identified, wipes tears from her eyes at a vigil where 20 candles were burned for the 19 people injured and one killed when the car plowed into a crowd of counter protesters at the 'Unite the Right' rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville

A local resident of Charlottesville who did not wish to be identified, wipes tears from her eyes at a vigil where 20 candles were burned for the 19 people injured and one killed when the car plowed into a crowd of counter protesters at the ‘Unite the Right’ rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville

Counter protesters pay their respects at a vigil where 20 candles were burned for the 19 people injured and one killed on Saturday

Counter protesters pay their respects at a vigil where 20 candles were burned for the 19 people injured and one killed on Saturday

In response to the day’s events, the University of Virginia announced on Saturday afternoon that all scheduled events and programming would be canceled.

The announcement stated: ‘This cancellation includes all academic programming, the scheduled community discussions taking place in the University Libraries, and all UVA Athletic events and programming. The University is monitoring the developments in Charlottesville and continues to coordinate with state and local law enforcement.’

The city announced earlier this week that the rally must be moved out of Emancipation Park to a larger one, citing safety reasons. The rally and counter-protests wereexpected to draw thousands of people.

Kessler sued, saying the change was a free speech violation. The city said in a statement that it would abide by the judge’s decision.

Kessler had led a torch lit procession through the University of Virginia campus on Friday night with burning torches, ending at the statue of Thomas Jefferson.

Almost 200 white nationalists, neo-Confederates, and alt-right activists, were heard chanting ‘white lives matter’ and ‘Jews will not replace us’.

They clashed with University of Virginia students who held an anti-racist protest, and were seen holding up signs which read: ‘VA students against white supremacists.’

Students on Friday night were heard chanting ‘go home Nazis,’ a reporter from the Washington Post tweeted.

Clashes have started. Keep in mind, the rally doesn’t start officially until noon. #charlottesville#rallypic.twitter.com/DswIVyE6RB

— Craig Stanley (@_CraigStanley) August 12, 2017

Hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia with burning torches on Friday

Hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia with burning torches on Friday

A group of white activists participate in a torch lit march through the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville

A group of white activists participate in a torch lit march through the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville

Almost 200 white nationalists, neo-Confederates, and alt-right activists, heard chanting 'white lives matter' held burning torches

Almost 200 white nationalists, neo-Confederates, and alt-right activists, heard chanting ‘white lives matter’ held burning torches

White nationalists carry torches around a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the grounds of the University of Virginia

White nationalists carry torches around a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the grounds of the University of Virginia

Jason Kessler lead the torch lit march of white nationalists on Friday. He is also the organizer of the Unite the Right rally which took place on Saturday

Jason Kessler lead the torch lit march of white nationalists on Friday. He is also the organizer of the Unite the Right rally which took place on Saturday

More fights more pepper spray #Charlottevillepic.twitter.com/3a7G7U7U02

— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) August 12, 2017

Police say violence broke out between the rival groups and officers swiftly intervened to break up the riot which they ruled was an unlawful assembly on Friday night.

At least one person was arrested and several on campus were treated for minor injuries, the Daily Progress newspaper said. Several of the marchers were also hit with pepper spray.

The protesters’ decision to use flaming torches seemed to be a deliberate one, to bring back the imagery of KKK violence and cross burning.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer denounced the ‘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… I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus,’ he told CNN.

'Jews will not replace us' and 'white lives matter' were among chants heard at the rally, according to witnesses

‘Jews will not replace us’ and ‘white lives matter’ were among chants heard at the rally, according to witnesses

The protesters' decision to use flaming torches seemed to be a deliberate one, to bring back the imagery of KKK violence and cross burning

The protesters’ decision to use flaming torches seemed to be a deliberate one, to bring back the imagery of KKK violence and cross burning

Hundreds of alt-right activists snaked through the university campus, illuminating the path with their many torches

Hundreds of alt-right activists snaked through the university campus, illuminating the path with their many torches

The march, which comes ahead of a much larger rally due to take place Saturday, was condemned by Charlottesville's mayor

The march, which comes ahead of a much larger rally due to take place Saturday, was condemned by Charlottesville’s mayor

On Friday, it was predicted that nearly 6,000 people were expected to descend on the college town on Saturday for the Unite the Right rally.

Saturday’s rally gathered at the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Emancipation Park – a focal point for a number of white supremacist protests since the council voted to remove the structure in April.

McAuliffe had urged Virginians to stay away ahead of Saturday’s rally.

‘In advance of the rally there have been communications from extremist groups, many of which are located outside of Virginia, who may seek to commit acts of violence against rally participants or law enforcement officials,’ he said in a statement.

‘In the event that such violent or unlawful conduct occurs, I have instructed state public safety officials to act quickly and decisively in order to keep the public and themselves safe.

White nationalists, neo-Confederates, and alt-right activists, heard chanting 'white lives matter,' clashed with University of Virginia students at the statue of Thomas Jefferson (pictured)

White nationalists, neo-Confederates, and alt-right activists, heard chanting ‘white lives matter,’ clashed with University of Virginia students at the statue of Thomas Jefferson (pictured)

Students held an anti-racist protest, and surrounded the statue which has been the focal point for a number of white supremacist protests since the council voted to remove the structure in April and rename the park

Students held an anti-racist protest, and surrounded the statue which has been the focal point for a number of white supremacist protests since the council voted to remove the structure in April and rename the park

‘I want to urge my fellow Virginians who may consider joining either in support or opposition to the planned rally to make alternative plans.

‘Many of the individuals coming to Charlottesville are doing so in order to express viewpoints many people, including me, find abhorrent.

‘As long as that expression is peaceful, that is their right. But it is also the right of every American to deny those ideas more attention than they deserve.’

‘The Charlottesville event could be a potentially historic showcase of hate, bringing together more extremists in one place than we have seen in at least a decade,’ said Oren Segal, director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League, a group that monitors and combats anti-Semitism.

Earlier this week, the city had ordered the rally planned for Saturday to be relocated out of Emancipation Park to a larger one, further out of the city, citing safety reasons.

But Kessler, who organized the rally, said on Twitter that the company’s move amounted to an attack on ‘free speech and civil rights’.

He sued added that the change was a free speech violation and that moving the protest away from the Lee statue undermined his event.

One group of students were seen holding up a sign which read: 'VA students against white supremacists'

One group of students were seen holding up a sign which read: ‘VA students against white supremacists’

Police say violence broke out between the rival groups and officers swiftly intervened to break up the riot which they ruled was an unlawful assembly

Police say violence broke out between the rival groups and officers swiftly intervened to break up the riot which they ruled was an unlawful assembly

An activist reacts to pepper spray in his eyes during a torch lit march through the University of Virginia campus

An activist reacts to pepper spray in his eyes during a torch lit march through the University of Virginia campus

Several of the activists appeared to have been subjected to pepper spray, and several treated for minor injuries

Several of the activists appeared to have been subjected to pepper spray, and several treated for minor injuries

Police used pepper spray on several marchers and counter-demonstrators after clashes broke out between them

Police used pepper spray on several marchers and counter-demonstrators after clashes broke out between them

A man who was pepper-sprayed is helped away from white supremacist marchers at the University of Virginia campus

A man who was pepper-sprayed is helped away from white supremacist marchers at the University of Virginia campus

On Friday, US District Judge Glen Conrad granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville by the right-wing blogger which allowed the rally of white nationalists and other extremists to take place at its originally planned location downtown.

The city said in a statement that it would abide by the judge’s decision.

Mimi Arbeit, an organizer of the planned counter-protests, rejected Kessler’s argument that the rally was about freedom of speech.

‘Fascism functions by using the institutions of a democracy towards its own ends,’ she said by telephone.

On July 8, a few dozen Ku Klux Klan marchers gathered in Charlottesville to protest plans to remove the statue of Lee. But they were outnumbered by hundreds of jeering counter-protesters.

Kessler, who also organized the Saturday's rally, was among the white activists and held up a tikki style torch during the march

Kessler, who also organized the Saturday’s rally, was among the white activists and held up a tikki style torch during the march

The protesters' decision to use flaming torches seemed to be a deliberate one, to bring back the imagery of KKK violence and cross burning

The protesters’ decision to use flaming torches seemed to be a deliberate one, to bring back the imagery of KKK violence and cross burning

Friday night (pictured) was just a taster of things to come as up to 6,000 people are expected to descend on the college town on Saturday for the Unite the Right rally

Friday night (pictured) was just a taster of things to come as up to 6,000 people are expected to descend on the college town on Saturday for the Unite the Right rally

Earlier this week, the city had ordered the rally planned for Saturday to be relocated out of Emancipation Park to a larger one, further out of the city, citing safety reasons

Earlier this week, the city had ordered the rally planned for Saturday to be relocated out of Emancipation Park to a larger one, further out of the city, citing safety reasons

This time the extreme right hopes to have a stronger showing thanks to the presence of various leaders of the 'alt-right' movement that has been emboldened by Donald Trump's ascent to the White House

This time the extreme right hopes to have a stronger showing thanks to the presence of various leaders of the ‘alt-right’ movement that has been emboldened by Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House

This time the extreme right hopes to have a stronger showing thanks to the presence of various leaders of the ‘alt-right’ movement that has been emboldened by Trump’s ascent to the White House.

On Friday, City Manager Maurice Jones revealed the rally called for the largest Virginia State Police deployment in the state in nearly three decades.

‘These are trying and difficult times for our city and our nation,’ Jones said, according to the Daily Progress. ‘We have deep political and ideological differences, and those differences will play out here in our community this weekend. It will be stressful and it will be tense, but I’m optimistic that cooler heads will prevail and we will ultimately be stronger as a community once this event is over.’

Generally, the white nationalist protesters appear to have come from outside the city, and many local residents raised fears over Saturday’s event.

Last month, hundreds went to City Hall to demand the protest be canceled.

Many local businesses also declared their stores ‘safe spaces’ while both firms and local people put up signs showing support for diversity before the event.

However, Kessler has even bigger plans for the city.

‘We’re going to have bigger and bigger events in Charlottesville,’ he told CNN.

Posted on; DailyMail>>

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