UPDATED: White Nationalists And Counter Protesters Brawl Over Lee Statue In Virginia, Gov. Declares State Of Emergency

UPDATED: White Nationalists And Counter Protesters Brawl Over Lee Statue In Virginia, Gov. Declares State Of Emergency

Update: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Saturday morning after tensions between white nationalists and counter protestors escalated to violent clashes.

White nationalists gathered to protest the removal of a statue depicting Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, Friday night. The protest only lasted about an hour because multiple brawls broke out, spurring the police to intervene and stop the demonstration.

After the city of Charlottesville decided earlier this year to remove the statue from Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, members of the Klu Klux Klan — a white nationalist group that has killed and intimidated countless black, Jewish, and Catholic Americans — led a protest on July 8. Late Friday night, a group of about 150 young, white nationalists followed up with another protest against the removal of the Lee statue.

Protestors, who were overwhelmingly white and male, shouted “You will not replace us”  and “White lives matter.”

They also chanted “blood and soil.”

Shortly thereafter, fights broke out between white nationalist demonstrators and counter protesters, who shouted “Go home, Nazis” according to Joe Heim at The Washington Post. 

Several eyewitnesses tweeted that white nationalists were hit with mace.

University of Virginia police declared it an “unlawful assembly” and ordered protestors to leave at about 10:30 p.m.

Update: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Saturday morning after tensions between white nationalists and counter protestors escalated to violent clashes.

President Trump condemned the violence and hate in a series of tweets Saturday afternoon.

A car plowed into a crowd of counter protestors, causing multiple injuries, WCVB reports. 

Bre Payton is a staff writer at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter.
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