Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency on Saturday as hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and heavily-armed militia members fought running battles against counter-protesters in the city of Charlottesville leaving one person dead.
The extremists descended on the quiet southern city for a “Unite the Right” rally but the situation quickly turned violent when they were confronted by activists from the anti-fascist movement known as Antifa.
At its height a car rammed into crowds injuring at least five and left one person dead.
The mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, Mike Signer tweeted: “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here.
“I urge all people of good will – go home.”
Some of the far-Right activists wore Nazi symbols and shouted “blood and soil” – a slogan of the Third Reich – as they marched into the city while others carried flags of the Confederacy or imitation viking shields.
Other militia members carried assault rifles and wore military-style body armour, although there were no reports of gunfire during the clashes.
The white supremacists exchanged blows with Left-wing demonstrators and in several cases people were hit with pepper spray. Police in riot gear were unable to calm the situation as the two sides fought in the streets.
Several people were left injured after a vehicle “ploughed down the road”, according to witnesses.
Police immediately cordoned off the area in downtown Charlottesville at the junction of 4th and Water Streets. The Telegraph saw one woman with a head injury and at least one other with minor injuries.
A witness said: “It was a grey Ford Challenger, it came speeding down the road where there were lots of people. “One person got pinched between the Challenger and an armoured car and others got hit.
“There were people hurt. Then he reversed out at 40mph.”
Further down the road three people were being placed in ambulances on stretchers.
Witness Hunter Harman, 20, said protesters were marching when the car drive into them.
He said: “I saw the car. We were marching and I heard a bang. Then I saw people flying though the air, then a bunch of injured people on the ground. I tried to help them.
“He was going…