Syndicated from GANNETT Syndication Service
A Virginia rally of white nationalists that erupted Saturday in violent clashes with counter-protesters brought a rain of condemnation from public officials. Following heated protests on Friday night where 15 were injured, protests became more violent on Saturday with one person killed and 19 injured after a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters. Since then #Trump has been criticized for his tepid response to the heart of the problem because he didn’t condemn the white nationalists for creating the violent climate. The Governor of Virginia issued a state of emergency following the death of one protester and said the “Unite the Right” protest was an illegal protest because they didn’t seek a permit.
Trump called the street clashes, ending with a car plowing through a group of counter-protesters, “very, very sad.”
Fights and arguments were widespread during a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Demonstrators were protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” exchanged insults with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va.
President Trump publicly denounced a deadly eruption of violence at a Virginia rally of white nationalists Saturday, declaring that the “hatred and division must stop.”
Trump, interrupting a signing ceremony for legislation benefiting veterans at his New Jersey golf club, called the street clashes, ending with a car plowing through a group of counter-protesters, “very, very sad.”
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of violence and bigotry,” Trump said, calling for a “swift restoration of law and order.”
But white nationalist leader David Duke quickly seized on Trump’s comments, calling on the president to “to take a good look in the mirror (and) remember it was white Americans who put you in the presidency.”
Duke’s remarks were a reminder of the challenge Trump faces when addressing issues of race, as members of the alt-right often rallied to the side of Trump’s contentious campaign.
Although he offered a condemnation, Trump did not single out the hate-fueled white nationalist movement. Rather, he suggested that “many sides” were responsible for Saturday’s unrest.
Trump addressed the unrest in Charlottesville, Va., where Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier declared a state of emergency when the alt-right protest of the city’s planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee turned unruly.
A car plowed into pedestrians and vehicles on the mall in Charlottesville after Saturday’s white supremacist rally. The driver hit the knot of cars and people at high speed, then backed up and fled the scene. Serious, maybe life-threatening injuries to several people.
Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.
Read more at: USA Today