In a terrifying scene in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, the driver of a car appeared to intentionally slam into progressive demonstrators marching against a Klu Klux Klan-backed neo-Nazi rally taking place in the city. According to the Associated Press, at least one person was killed and approximately twenty others injured in the attack.
Warning, the following videos are graphic:
Video of car hitting anti-racist protestors. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/MUOZs71Pf4— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
The local Daily Progress reports that Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer confirmed one person died as a result. "I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will--go home," Signer said in a statment. According to AP, the individual suspected of being behind the wheel of the car during the attack is in custody.
Earlier: 'Love Squashes Hate: Clashes Break Out as Virginia Declares State of Emergency'
As community members, faith leaders, and defenders of the common good operated valiantly on Saturday to drown out and confront white supremacist factions who descended on the city of Charlottesville this weekend, Virginia suspended a permitted rally and declared a State of Emergency as anti-fascists clashed violently with neo-Nazi elements.
Just before noon, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency "to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville."
Throughout the day it appeared that many more people (dominated by local residents) had attended counterprotests—organized by a broad coalition to denounce the racist gathering—than there were out-of-town members of the racist and reactionary factions there to attend the so-called "Unite the Right" rally.
The city of Charlottesville has arrived to block the KKK pic.twitter.com/LITBE6pEhH— CLARK (@TwiggyClark95) July 8, 2017
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But as clashes broke out, some of the scenes captured by social media users were intense:
As confrontations touched off, police declared the right-wing rally "unlawful" and ordered people to disperse:
Brandi Collins, senior campaign director for Media and Economic Justice at the advocacy group Color Of Change, put the ugly display of racism and discrimination occurring in Charlottesville this weekend directly at the doorstep of President Donald Trump.
"The hatred and bigotry that Donald Trump inspired has been on full display in Charlottesville last night and today," Collins said. "Racists, led by the likes of David Duke, are marching to uphold not just memorials to the Confederacy, but its mission of hatred and racial subjugation. Armed white supremacists marching with torches through the streets have raised the very real specter of racial terrorism."
Meanwhile, in a string of tweets in the early afternoon on Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) denounced the right-wing rally and the hateful, racist ideology of those participating in it:
The white nationalist demonstration in #Charlottesville is a reprehensible display of racism and hatred that has no place in our society.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 12, 2017
While this incident is alarming, it is not surprising. Hate crimes and shows of hostility toward minorities have recently been surging.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 12, 2017
Now more than ever we must stand together against those who threaten our brothers and sisters.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 12, 2017