CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 12, 2017) (REUTERS) – White nationalists clashed with counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday (August 12), prompting the governor to declare an emergency and halt a rally to protest the planned removal of a Confederate general’s statue from a public park.
Tensions in the city intensified hours after the melee when at least one vehicle plowed a crowd of people gathered in a street two blocks from the park, according to witnesses and a city spokeswoman, causing multiple injuries. Television images showed injured pedestrians on the ground surrounded by other bystanders and emergency crews.
It was not clear whether this incident was connected to the earlier confrontations. But a video shown on CNN appeared to show a silver sedan driving at high speed into the crowd before reversing.
The fighting broke out in the city’s downtown before noon when hundreds of people, some wearing white nationalist symbols and carrying Confederate battle flags, were confronted by a nearly equal number of counter-protesters. The clashes began the previous evening, resulting in at least one arrest.