Violence Breaks Out In Charlottesville As Alt-Right, White Nationalists Battle Counter-Protesters

The eyes of the world are on Charlottesville, Virginia, today. After last night’s torch-lit march by hundreds of alt-right protesters, this college town is on edge as violence broke out an hour before the noon scheduled rally.

It is a riot, an all-out brawl with baseball bats, bottled water used as missiles, flags poles used as spears, and anything not nailed down thrown into the crowds. The volatile atmosphere is a tragedy waiting to happen. White nationalist flags, Don’t Tread On Me flags, Confederate flags, American flags are carried by marchers.

Ed Gillespie, Republican for Governor, tweeted early Saturday morning:

Ralph Northam, Democrat for Governor, released a statement early Saturday morning:

John Adams, Republican for Attorney General, tweeted:

The alt-right has shown up with riot gear.

This is when leaders are made. This is when leaders step out. Who will denounce this behavior? Republicans, now is the time to step forward. History will remember who did what on this day.

11:54am: Unlawful assembly has now been declared by the city of Charlottesville.

Police will now take a stronger, armed presence among protesters. Wishing safety to them as they stand up to the violence.

12:12pm: The rally has been cancelled due to unlawful assembly and police are trying to clear out the streets.

12:20pm: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a State of Emergency.

12:20pm: City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County have declared States of Emergency:

Noon: Gillespie Statement on Events in Charlottesville 

RICHMOND, VA – 2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie today released the following statement on the events in Charlottesville:

“Having a right to spew vile hate does not make it right. It is painful to see these ugly events in Charlottesville last night and today. These displays have no place in our Commonwealth, and the mentality on display is rejected by the decent, thoughtful and compassionate fellow Virginians I see every day. I know we all appreciate the law enforcement officials maintaining order and protecting public safety there.”

Tweets from #Charlottesville:

First Lady Melania Trump:

John Whitbeck, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia:

From UVa President Teresa Sullivan:

From the University of Virginia College Republicans:

1:00pm: Virginia National Guard and Virginia State Police have cleared the streets.

From Speaker Paul Ryan:

.@SpeakerRyan condemned the bigotry happening in #Charlottesville pic.twitter.com/1yuEBKMK28

— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 12, 2017

1:22: From President Donald Trump:

2:30: A car plowed into counter-protesters on the street in Charlottesville with multiple injuries. Eye-witness said a silver Charger with no license plates going 30-40 mph hit the pedestrians and plowed into another vehicle that was pushed into a minivan, then he hit reverse to escape. There may be at least one fatality. The horror in Charlottesville continues into the afternoon. Background: Wall Street Journal — Car Strikes Protesters at White Nationalists Stage Demonstration in Virginia.

UPDATE: One confirmed fatality and 19 injuries when the car plowed into the crowd.

2:30: Statement from Jill Vogel–

I am horrified by the hate being displayed in Charlottesville. It is not the Virginia that I know and love and I condemn this vile display of racism.

3:35pm: Trump speaks to the nation about violence “on all sides.”

Former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling commented on his Facebook page:

The hatred and violence on display this day in Charlottesville is disgusting and unacceptable. Those who participated in it truly represent the worst among us. In America we are all entitled to our point of view, but with that right is the civil expectation that we be tolerant of those with different views. Unfortunately, the extremism of the right and the left seems to be on the rise, and it threatens a civil society. When civility breaks down, violence ensues. We are witnessing a sad commentary on the state of our politics and civil discourse. There are no winners here, just losers.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock commented on her Facebook page:

The neo-Nazi march and the hate and racism on display in Charlottesville are vile, have no place in Virginia, and are denounced by Republicans and Democrats alike in our great Commonwealth. We thank and pray for our law enforcement who protect our Commonwealth and put themselves in harm’s way to protect our communities.

Bearing Drift Publisher Jim Hoeft has written his thoughts about today’s violence: Charlottesville Is Representing Our Worst.

Video of the car roaring down the street before it hit and injured 20 pedestrians.

Former Governor Jeb Bush left a statement on Twitter:

From Attorney General Mark Herring:

Governor Terry McAuliffe:

Update on fatality:

From U.S. Senator Mark Warner:

Governor Terry McAuliffe held a press conference late Saturday afternoon to address the violence in Charlottesville during the alt-right white nationalist march, and the crash of a Virginia State Police helicopter with the loss of two lives.

The governor, who said he had a message for all the white supremacists and nazis who had come to Charlottesville to cause disruption, had very strong words that resonated all across the Commonwealth:

“Go home. You’re not wanted. You’re not a patriot. Patriots are George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and the men and women today wearing the cloth of our country.

“You came here today to hurt people. And you did hurt people. We are stronger than you. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here, and there is no place for you in America. We work here to unify folks. We are a nation of immigrants. Our diversity, the mosaic tile of immigrants, is what makes us so special, and we will not let anyone come here an destroy it. So please go home, and never come back. Take your hatred and your bigotry, and leave.” (paraphrased)

From the Young Republican Federation of Virginia:

Virginia’s Young Republicans are shocked and saddened by the despicable display of ignorance, hatred, and violence that occurred in our Commonwealth. On this dark day in Charlottesville, we have seen the very worst of America. While such bigotry and racism has always lingered in the shadows, it now rears its ugly head. The Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other white nationalist groups are fueled by a dangerous philosophy that our society cannot continue to ignore. We must stand united against their hateful, divisive, and fundamentally un-American message that seeks to tear our country apart.

We now have an opportunity to put aside partisan differences and unite behind the American and democratic principles that founded our great nation: The freedom of diverse thought and expression, the economic freedom to create a diverse market that spurs innovation and opportunities for success, and the equal protection under the law to all members of our beautifully diverse society. It is diversity that makes America great. Any group or individual who clings to a mentality of exclusivity and superiority can never truly understand what it means to be an American.

Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals who have been injured or killed in acts of deliberate violence, their families, as well as the law enforcement officers and emergency personnel who are working to restore order. As Young Republicans, as Virginians, and as Americans, we stand united behind the Charlottesville community in order to rise above hatred to create a brighter future.

Will there be more? Stay tuned….

UPDATE: Late on Saturday afternoon a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed just outside Charlottesville as the violence occurring in the city, killing two troopers from the Richmond area.