Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency after fighting between neo-Nazis and counterprotesters raged all night and into the morning in Charlottesville, Va., killing three people and injuring at least 35.
A United the Right rally planned for Saturday at noon in a park in downtown Charlottesville was canceled and the racist protesters were forced out. That decision was made after hours of skirmishes between white nationalists and people protesting the messages of racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. There are reports that both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles. Some of the protesters wore helmets and carried clubs and sticks.
A car also drove into a group of anti-racist protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman who was crossing the street. Authorities are not naming the woman until her next of kin are notified. A male suspect for her murder is in custody, according to Charlottesville Police.
Charlottesville police chief says violence was "premeditated," suspect is in custody https://t.co/rtTBkVpHdc
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 12, 2017
Most of the neo-Nazis were young men, according to the Washington Post, who were carrying torches and shouting, "White Lives Matter!" and "Jews Will Not Replace Us!" Video emerged of the protesters shouting "Fuck You Faggots" at counterprotesters.
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) August 12, 2017
The neo-Nazis had gathered at Charlottesville's Emancipation Park (formerly Lee Park) because the city voted to remove a Confederate statue there; it still remains pending a judge's ruling. The white nationalists claimed "white history" is being erased and they're being "persecuted" for being white.