Nineteen injured at site of planned ‘Unite the Right’ event as Trump condemns ‘violence on many sides’ and Virginia governor declares emergency
A car rammed into a group of people peacefully protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, killing one person and injuring 19.
It came at the end of a day marked by violent clashes between far-right nationalists and people who had come to protest their occupation of a downtown park containing a statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee.
Donald Trump condemned the “violence on many sides” in the city and the state’s governor has declared a state of emergency.
Witnesses said those hit by the car were people peacefully protesting the planned white supremacist rally and footage showed the vehicle crashing into another car, throwing people over the top of it.
The driver was later arrested, authorities said.
The photographer Pat Jarrett, who was close by when the incident took place, told the Guardian: “A gray Dodge Charger plowed into a sedan and then into a minivan. Bodies flew. People were terrified and screaming. Those closest to it said it was definitely a violent attack. The driver, who people later described as a skinny white guy with a straggly beard, reversed out of there and drove off, the front end of his car all smashed up.”
The death was announced in a tweet by the Charlottesville mayor, Mike Signer, who wrote: “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will – go home.”
The governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, had earlier declared a state of emergency.
On Saturday afternoon, Trump, speaking from Bedminster, New Jersey, at a scheduled event for veterans’ healthcare, said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.” Trump added that this has been “going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. A long, long time.”
A White House spokesperson later amplified the president’s remarks, telling the Guardian: “The president was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter-protesters today.”
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this…