cloudy
Saturday November 18th, 2017 6:17PM
8:59AM ( 9 hours ago ) Weather Alert
9:48PM ( 20 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Virginia city rocked by white nationalist protests; 1 dead

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally Saturday in a Virginia college town, killing one person and sending at least 26 others to hospitals.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least one person on the ground receiving medical treatment immediately after the car careened into the line of several hundred people. The driver was arrested.

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

It happened about two hours after violent clashes broke out between white nationalists, who descended on the town to rally against the city's plans to remove a statue of the Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others who arrived to protest the racism.

Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays. At least eight were injured and one arrested in connection to the earlier violence. It remains unclear if the driver of the car has been apprehended.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, and police dressed in riot gear ordered people out.

Small bands of protesters who showed up to express their opposition to the rally were seen marching around the city peacefully by midafternoon, chanting and waving flags. Helicopters circled overhead.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for what he termed a "pro-white" rally to protest the city of Charlottesville's decision to remove the confederate statue from a downtown park.

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 son, who is black, 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.

It's the latest confrontation in Charlottesville since the city about 100 miles outside of Washington, D.C., voted earlier this year to remove a statue of Lee.

In May, a torch-wielding group that included prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer gathered around the statue for a nighttime protest, and in July, about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group traveled there for a rally, where they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters.

Kessler said this week that the rally is partly about the removal of Confederate symbols but also about free speech and "advocating for white people."

"This is about an anti-white climate within the Western world and the need for white people to have advocacy like other groups do," he said in an interview.

Between rally attendees and counter-protesters, authorities were expecting as many as 6,000 people, Charlottesville police said this week.

Among those expected to attend are Confederate heritage groups, KKK members, militia groups and "alt-right" activists, who generally espouse a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which track extremist groups, said the event has the potential to be the largest of its kind in at least a decade.

Officials have been preparing for the rally for months. Virginia State Police will be assisting local authorities, and a spokesman said the Virginia National Guard "will closely monitor the situation and will be able to rapidly respond and provide additional assistance if needed."

Police instituted road closures around downtown, and many businesses in the popular open-air shopping mall opted to close for the day.

Both local hospitals said they had taken precautions to prepare for an influx of patients and had extra staff on call.

There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.

A university spokesman said one person was arrested and several people were injured.

Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming racial prejudices with his campaign last year.

"I'm not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you're seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president."

Charlottesville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a liberal-leaning city that's home to the flagship University of Virginia and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

The statue's removal is part of a broader city effort to change the way Charlottesville's history of race is told in public spaces. The city has also renamed Lee Park, where the statue stands, and Jackson Park, named for Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. They're now called Emancipation Park and Justice Park, respectively.

For now, the Lee statue remains. A group called the Monument Fund filed a lawsuit arguing that removing the statue would violate a state law governing war memorials. A judge has agreed to a temporary injunction that blocks the city from removing the statue for six months.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
White nationalist rally, violence rock Virginia city; 1 dead
A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia, killing one person and sending many more to hospitals
4:25PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Virginia city rocked by white nationalist protests; 1 dead
A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia, killing one person and sending many more to hospitals
4:13PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Kevin Mayer wins decathlon gold at worlds
Kevin Mayer produced a dominant performance over two days and 10 events in the decathlon, ending with a celebratory 1,500 meters at the world championships
4:10PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Spieth heating up at PGA with 3 straight birdies
The Latest: Jordan Spieth is heating up at the PGA Championship.
3:44PM ( 45 minutes ago )
The Latest: Farah settles for silver in 5,000 at worlds
Muktar Edris of Ethiopia broke the hold of Mo Farah on long-distance running
3:42PM ( 46 minutes ago )
The Latest: Olympic champion Beitia out of high jump early
Olympic champion Ruth Beitia tumbled out early in the high jump final at the world championships
3:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Earnhardt calls Harvick's comments 'hurtful'
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he's proud of his accomplishments after Kevin Harvick suggested that NASCAR's growth has been hindered because Earnhardt hasn't won enough
8:32AM ( 1 day ago )
Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne to split after 6 years
Hendrick Motorsports and driver Kasey Kahne have agreed to part ways after six years
11:21AM ( 5 days ago )
Truex wins fuel-mileage gamble at The Glen
Martin Truex Jr. won a fuel mileage gamble at Watkins Glen International and held off Matt Kenseth on the final lap to capture the NASCAR Cup race at Watkins Glen International
8:02PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
Virginia city rocked by white nationalist protests; 1 arrest
One person arrested, eight injured after violent classes erupt at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville
3:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Submarine owner detained over journalist's disappearance
A Danish court has ordered the owner of an amateur-built submarine to be held in pre-trial detention for 24 days while police investigate the disappearance of a Swedish journalist who had been on the ship before it sank
3:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Reward offered to catch Nevada lake invasive fish dumper
Nevada game wardens who spend most their time hunting for big-game poachers have turned their sights on an even more serious threat to nature in the mountains around Great Basin National Park near the Utah line
3:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Mercosur opposes 'military option' on Venezuela
The South American trade bloc Mercosur is opposing U.S. President Donald Trump's suggestion of a possible "military option" to deal with the crisis in Venezuela
2:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
35 children die in north Indian hospital in 3 days
Parents of at least 35 children who have died in a state-run hospital in northern India over the past three days have alleged that the fatalities were due to the lack of a sufficient oxygen supply in the children's ward
12:44PM ( 3 hours ago )
Montana's Health Co-op remains standing as others falter
Montana's health care co-op resumes accepting new enrollees on Sunday after it voluntarily pulled itself from the state's insurance marketplace in December
11:01AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
Billionaire suggests black senator worse than Ku Klux Klan
A billionaire hedge fund executive has apologized for an online post saying a black New York state senator has done "more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood."
5:45PM ( 22 hours ago )
Fear spreads over tainted eggs despite low risk to consumers
Fears over tainted eggs spread across Europe despite experts saying health risks are low
3:40PM ( 1 day ago )
Widening egg scandal hits 17 countries in Europe
A costly scandal over tainted eggs has the EU planning a summit for its ministers and food safety agencies next month
3:22PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
Pope Francis to Belgian Catholics: Stop offering euthanasia
Pope Francis has ordered a Belgian Catholic charity to stop offering euthanasia in its psychiatric hospitals
9:40AM ( 2 days ago )
Rare August tornado sends 30 to hospital in Tulsa; no deaths
A rare late summer tornado smashed into a shopping district of Tulsa early Sunday just hours after it was packed with people, sending more than two dozen people to hospitals including two with life-threatening injuries.
7:26PM ( 5 days ago )
'Pharma Bro' Shkreli is convicted at securities fraud trial
Former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli has been convicted on federal charges he deceived investors in a pair of failed hedge funds
3:31PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Health Care
The Latest: Kevin Mayer wins decathlon gold at worlds
Kevin Mayer produced a dominant performance over two days and 10 events in the decathlon, ending with a celebratory 1,500 meters at the world championships
4:10PM ( 18 minutes ago )
The Latest: Venezuelan opposition mum on Trump military talk
Donald Trump's talk of a "military option" for Venezuela may have drawn rebuke from several foreign governments, some even critical of President Nicolas Maduro, but so far it has been met with a resounding silence from the Venezuelan opposition
4:09PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump condemns hatred, bigotry 'on many sides'
Trump condemns "in the strongest possible terms" what he's calling an "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides"
4:01PM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: 1 dead, 19 injured in downtown Charlottesville
A hospital official says one person has died and 19 have been injured after a car plowed into a group of protesters in Charlottesville
4:01PM ( 28 minutes ago )
West Point grad Rowley wins ML debut, Jays beat Pirates 7-2
West Point grad Chris Rowley pitches 5 1/3 innings to win ML debut, Blue Jays beat Pirates 7-2
3:59PM ( 29 minutes ago )