Three dead, dozens injured and Trump under pressure as white supremacists, neo Nazis and anti fascists clash in Virginia -

Three dead, dozens injured and Trump under pressure as white supremacists, neo Nazis and anti fascists clash in Virginia

Credit: independent.ie

  • Aug 13 2017 07:38About: 4 months ago
  • 10 views

A GATHERING gathering of hundreds of white nationalists in Virginia, USA took a deadly turn on Saturday when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters and killed at least one person in a flare up of violence that challenged US President Donald Trump.

The state's governor blamed neo-Nazis for sparking the unrest in the college town of Charlottesville, where rival groups fought pitched battles using rocks and pepper spray after far-right protesters converged to demonstrate against a plan to remove a statue to a Confederate war hero.

A car slammed into a crowd of people, killing a 32-year-old woman, police said. Video on social media and Reuters photographs showed the car hit a large group of counter-protesters, sending some flying into the air.

Federal authorities opened a civil rights investigation into the death.

Two Virginia policeman died in a helicopter crash nearby after assisting efforts to quell the clashes.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, declared an emergency and halted a white nationalist rally, while President Donald Trump condemned the violence.

"I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple: go home," McAuliffe told a news conference.

"You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you."

As midnight approached, the streets of Charlottesville had gone quiet.

The clashes highlight how the white supremacist movement has resurfaced under the "alt-right" banner after years in the shadows of mainstream American politics.

Trump said "many sides" were involved, drawing fire from across the political spectrum for not specifically denouncing the far right. The violence presented Trump with perhaps the first domestic crisis of his young administration.

"We’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia," Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf course.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides."

Trump made no reply to a reporter's shouted question whether he had spoken out strongly enough against white nationalists.

Police held a man from Ohio on charges relating to the car incident, including second-degree murder, said Martin Kumer, Albemarle Charlottesville's regional jail superintendent.

The suspect was James Alex Fields, Jr., a 20-year-old white man from Ohio, Kumer said. It was not clear why he was in Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia's flagship campus.

After hours of clashes, a silver sedan driving at high speed plowed into the crowd before reversing along the same street. The incident took place about two blocks from the park displaying the statue of Robert E. Lee, who headed the Confederate army in the American Civil War.

Five people suffered critical injuries and four had serious injuries from the car strike, officials said.

A civil rights investigation has been opened into the crash death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia and the FBI's Richmond field office said late on Saturday.

"The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence," they said in a joint statement.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also condemned the violence in Charlottesville, vowing "the full support of the Department of Justice" for the U.S. Attorney's office in a statement.

Three more men were arrested, Virginia State Police said late on Saturday night. Two 21-year-olds from Tennessee and Virginia were charged, one with disorderly conduct and the other with assault and battery, while a 44-year-old Florida man was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.

'DOMESTIC TERRORISM?'

Prominent Democrats, civil rights activists and some Republicans said it was inexcusable of the president not to denounce white supremacy.

"Mr. President - we must call evil by its name," Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner wrote on social network Twitter.

"These were white supremacists and this was domestic," said Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the group charged with helping to get Republicans elected to the Senate.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a tweet directed at the president: "Repeat after me, @realDonaldTrump: white supremacy is an affront to American values."

Fighting broke out on Saturday in the city's downtown, when hundreds of people, some wearing white nationalist symbols and carrying Confederate battle flags, were confronted by a nearly equal number of counter-protesters.

The Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously to allow the police chief to declare a curfew. No action on the move has been taken as midnight approached, Mayor Mike Signer said on his Facebook page.

The confrontation was a stark reminder of the growing political polarization since Trump's election last year.

"You will not erase us," chanted a crowd of white nationalists, while counter-protesters carried placards that read: "Nazi go home" and "Smash white supremacy."

Scott Stroney, 50, a catering sales director at the University of Virginia who arrived at the scene of the car incident just after the crash, said he was horrified.

"I started to cry. I couldn't talk for a while," he said. "It was just hard to watch, hard to see. It's heartbreaking."

The violence began on Friday night, when hundreds of white marchers with blazing torches appeared at the campus in a display that critics called reminiscent of a Ku Klux Klan rally.

David Duke, a former leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, was in Charlottesville for the rally, according to his Twitter account.

The rally was part of a long debate in the U.S. South over the Confederate battle flag and other symbols of the rebel side in the Civil War, which was fought over the issue of slavery.

The violence is the latest clash between far-rightists, some of whom have claimed allegiance to Trump, and the president's opponents since his January inauguration, when black-clad anti-Trump protesters in Washington smashed windows, torched cars and clashed with police, leading to more than 200 arrests.

About two dozen people were arrested in Charlottesville in July when the Ku Klux Klan rallied against the plan to remove the Lee statue. Torch-wielding white nationalists also demonstrated against the decision in May.



Follow Us on Twitter

GATHERING gathering hundreds white nationalists Virginia took deadly turn Saturday when plowed into group counter-protesters killed least person flare violence that challenged President Donald Trump.

Related stories with Three dead, dozens injured and Trump under pressure as white supremacists, neo Nazis and anti fascists clash in Virginia

Maintenance worker dies after being hit by roller coaster on test run at amusement park -World News
Maintenance worker dies after being hit by roller coaster on test run at amusement park 4 months ago
A male worker was killed and another seriously injured Saturday when they were hit by a roller coaster being tested at an amusement park in Oita Prefecture, police…
Man jumps to death from bridge onto train tracks in Tokyo -World News
Man jumps to death from bridge onto train tracks in Tokyo 4 months ago
A 59-year-old man died after he jumped from a bridge onto train tracks on the JR Yamanote Line on Sunday morning. According to police, the incident occurred at…
Best in show: revisiting the cataclysmic strangeness of Tokyo Jungle -World News
Best in show: revisiting the cataclysmic strangeness of Tokyo Jungle 4 months ago
Does the world seem just a little bit closer to apocalypse now than it did five years ago? Perhaps that's why I recently became so obsessed with Tokyo Jungle, the beastly post-cataclysm survival sim that on its initial release in 2012 was generally viewed
Mugabe says NO, as VP offers to resign over 'public humiliation' by Grace – report -World News
Mugabe says NO, as VP offers to resign over 'public humiliation' by Grace – report 4 months ago
Embattled Zimbabwean Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly offered to resign last week over what he called repeated "public humiliation" by President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace.
Several roads in Johor Baru to close for royal wedding -World News
Several roads in Johor Baru to close for royal wedding 4 months ago
August 13, 2017 2:25 PMJOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Several roads in Johor Baru will be closed for the royal wedding which is set to take place at Istana Besar on Monday (Aug 14).
Bogus doc who made 'rounds' in Malaysia hospital for a year to be sent for psychiatric evaluation -World News
Bogus doc who made 'rounds' in Malaysia hospital for a year to be sent for psychiatric evaluation 4 months ago
August 13, 2017 2:40 PMALOR SETAR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The man who posed as a doctor at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar and went unnoticed for a whole year will be sent to a mental hospital in Tanjung Rambutan soon.
Bangladeshi man who planted a tree every day since he was 12 dies aged 60 -World News
Bangladeshi man who planted a tree every day since he was 12 dies aged 60 4 months ago
August 13, 2017 2:57 PMDHAKA (THE DAILY STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Bangladeshi rickshaw-puller who made planting trees his life's mission, died of post-surgery complications in the early hours on Saturday (Aug 12).
At least six dead, dozens missing, in Indian landslide -World News
At least six dead, dozens missing, in Indian landslide 4 months ago
August 13, 2017 3:04 PMSHIMLA, INDIA (AFP) - At least six people have been killed and dozens more are missing after a massive landslide swept two buses off a hillside into a deep gorge in mountainous northern India, an official said Sunday (Aug 13).
Singapore's new-look 4x100m relay team sets modest SEA Games target -World News
Singapore's new-look 4x100m relay team sets modest SEA Games target 4 months ago
SINGAPORE: At the 2015 SEA Games, Singapore's 4x100m relay team raced to their fourth consecutive silver, setting a national record of 39.24 seconds in front of a home crowd. This month, a new squad with four debutants will take to the track for the Ku
Going low-tech to solve everyday high-tech problems -World News
Going low-tech to solve everyday high-tech problems 4 months ago
How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives?
Argentina primary vote measures appetite for populist ex president -World News
Argentina primary vote measures appetite for populist ex president 4 months ago
Argentines vote on Sunday in a closely watched mid-term primary election that will test their appetite for bringing back the left-wing populism of former President Cristina Fernandez.
How to Snowboard And Surf In Australia On The Same Glorious Winter's Day -World News
How to Snowboard And Surf In Australia On The Same Glorious Winter's Day 4 months ago
Yes, you can really do this. And Torah Bright popped by to show us how.