Emergency Declared During White Nationalist Rally
Violence erupts in Charlottesville, Virginia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 12, 2017 11:54 AM CDT
A counter demonstrator uses a lighted spray can against a white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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(Newser) – Virginia's governor has declared a state of emergency in response to a white nationalist rally that is expected to draw up to 6,000 people, the AP reports. Gov. Terry McAuliffe said via his Twitter account on Saturday morning that the declaration was made in order "to aid state response to violence" at the rally in Charlottesville. It's the latest confrontation in the city since it voted earlier this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. The city's manager also declared a local emergency and police ordered people to disperse from the area around the statue after several violent clashes broke out.

Rally supporters and counter-protesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles, and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday morning. Men dressed in militia uniforms were carrying shields and openly carrying long guns. There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.

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