Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency as demonstrations in Charlottesville erupted into violence Saturday morning.
The demonstrations precede a "Unite the Right" rally called by white nationalists in response to a plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Thousands of white nationalist protesters, as well as groups that oppose them, have clashed during demonstrations that are currently ongoing.
Two people have been treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries, according to Charlottesville officials.
Images and videos of the protest have appeared on Twitter and depict police confronting protesters and deploying tear gas.
Another fight. Cops nowhere. pic.twitter.com/MYcXDL2p44— Baynard Woods (@baynardwoods) August 12, 2017
This group is lining up to charge into counterprotesters. Incredibly tense here. pic.twitter.com/kGkwDcv2oO— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) August 12, 2017
To be clear, these are NOT national guard but racist private militias posing as state actors to protect nazis and provoke. pic.twitter.com/PuoHNmXRpg— Tom Perriello (@tomperriello) August 12, 2017
Things heating up in Charlottesville. Several thousand people in and around the park. Lots of yelling pic.twitter.com/hZQjkel6aa— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) August 12, 2017
Two of my producers just got sprayed with urine. Lovely. Hard to keep your cool.— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) August 12, 2017
Former KKK learder David Duke was in Charlottesville, and called the rally a "turning point," saying that protesters would fulfill the promisses of President Donald Trump.
Last night, hundreds of white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters on the University of Virginia's Charlottesville campus.
At one point, marchers gathered around a statue of Thomas Jefferson and a brawl between the two groups broke out.
Protesters have already drawn rebuke from leaders in the community. In a Facebook post, Mike Signer, the mayor of Charlottesville, called the demonstrations by white nationalists a "cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance."
The president of UVA, Teresa A. Sullivan, also condemned the "unprovoked assault on members of our community."
The demonstration in Charlottesville comes just a month after 23 people were arrested and police deployed tear gas after a Ku Klux Klan rally in the city.
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