One dead as car ramps into crowd at US far-right rally


At least two people have been injured in the clashes, police say
Photo: BBC/Reuters

At least one person was killed in Virginia on Saturday after white nationalists clashed with counter-demonstrators and a car plowed into a crowd near the scene of the earlier melee, the mayor of Charlottesville said.

Violence had erupted in Charlottesville in the US state of Virginia between white nationalists and counter-protesters ahead of a far-right march.

Several people were injured after a car rammed into a crowd of people who were against the rally.

A state of emergency has been declared to enable police to mobilise resources.

The “Unite the Right” march is against plans to remove a statue of a pro-slavery US Civil War general. President Donald Trump condemned the violence.

On Twitter, he said: “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!”

Pictures on social media showed emergency services treating several people that were hit by a car that drove through a crowd of protesters after the clashes subsided.

A witness said one girl got “tore up” after the car “backed up and hit again”.

Earlier, police fired tear gas against demonstrators and said that arrests had been made after a declaration of unlawful assembly at Emancipation Park.

The state of emergency allows local authorities to request additional resources if needed, the police department said.

The far-right protesters, some waving Confederate flags, carrying shields and wearing helmets, are angry about the planned removal of a statue of Gen Robert E Lee from Charlottesville. Gen Lee commanded the Confederate forces in the US Civil War of 1861-65.

The New York Times reports that some of them were chanting “You will not replace us,” and “Jew will not replace us.”

Anti-racism organisations such as Black Lives Matter have also held marches.

On Friday, the white nationalists held lit torches – which some observers described as a reference to the Ku Klux Klan – and chanted “White lives matter” as they marched through the University of Virginia in the city.

Charlottesville is considered a liberal college town – and 86% of the county voted for Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential elections.

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

Some observers also argue that Mr Trump’s election to the White House re-energised the far right across the US.

 -BBC



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