Trump condemns Charlottesville violence but doesn't single out white nationalists

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2017

One person died and 19 people were injured when a vehicle drove into a crowd of counter-protesters at a violence-ridden right-wing rally in Charlottesville in the US State of Virginia on Saturday.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency as demonstrations in Charlottesville erupted into violence Saturday morning. Mediaite's Caleb Ecarma, who was on the scene, reported that police told everyone to leave or they will be arrested, as "the event has been declared an unlawful assembly".

In May, a torch-wielding group that included prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer gathered around the statue for a nighttime protest, and in July, about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group travelled there for a rally, where they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters.

At least 34 people were injured in hours of violence between white supremacists and counter protesters in the town of Charlottesville.

The driver was in police custody, the city said.

Videos and pictures of the immediate aftermath showed several people lying on the ground, while others screamed for medics.

Trump blamed all sides for the hatred that "has been going on for a long time in our country". Violence also broke out at that march. White nationalists and their opponents promoted the event for weeks.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the US House of Representatives, said in a tweet directed at the president: "Repeat after me, @realDonaldTrump: white supremacy is an affront to American values".

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that "we ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for".

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"So when I watch Charlottesville, to me it's very, very sad".

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides", Trump said in a statement from Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is spending his summer vacation.

The violence began on Friday night, when hundreds of white marchers with blazing torches appeared at the campus of the University of Virginia in a display that critics said was reminiscent of a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming racial prejudices with his campaign past year. "And we want to see what we're doing wrong as a country".

"Violent acts of hate and bigotry have no place in America". He just said the nation should come together.

However, the Attorney General of Virginia was among those that disavowed Trump's comments, saying: "The violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of 'many sides.' It is racists and white supremacists".

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist groups, said Saturday's "Unite the Right Rally" could mark one of the most significant demonstrations of its kind in decades.

The founder of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi and white supremacist website that considers itself a part of the alt-right, celebrated the fact that Trump "outright refused to disavow" the white nationalist rally and movement.

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