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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton condemn violent white supremacists rally in #Charlottesville, Virginia

US President Donald Trump has condemned the violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

Authorities had declared a state of emergency due to the clashes between those protesting the plans to remove a statue honouring Confederate general Robert E Lee from a Charlottesville park and counter-protesters.

At least one person was killed and 19 others were injured when a car rammed into a group of counter-protesters.


Trump on his Twitter page said Americans must all be united and shun violence.

He wrote, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”

First Lady, Melania Trump also responded to the clash.

“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville,” she tweeted.

Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton also reacted to the violence.

“My heart is in Charlottesville today, and with everyone made to feel unsafe in their country. But the incitement of hatred that got us here is as real and condemnable as the white supremacists in our streets,” she tweeted.

“Every minute we allow this to persist through tacit encouragement or inaction is a disgrace, & corrosive to our values,” she added. “Now is the time for leaders to be strong in their words & deliberate in their actions. We will not step backward. If this is not who we are as Americans, let’s prove it.”



Hundreds of US white nationalists had rallied on Friday at the University of Virginia, protesting against plans to remove a statue of a confederate general.

The group waved torches and chanted "White lives matter" as they marched through the Charlottesville university.

Then a larger "Unite the Right" rally was held  in the city on Saturday.

The protesters are angered at the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee from Charlottesville. Lee commanded forces of the pro-slavery Confederacy in the US Civil War.



Protest organiser Jason Kessler, who has previously accused the town of "anti-white hatred", described the event as an "incredible moment for white people who've had it up to here and aren't going to take it anymore".

The New York Times and Washington Post reported that the crowd chanted "You will not replace us" and "Jew will not replace us" during the event.

Demonstrators held lit torches - which some observers described as a reference to the Ku Klux Klan - and chanted "blood and soil" and "one people, one nation, end immigration".

The rally was met by a smaller group of counter protesters who had surrounded the university's statue of Thomas Jefferson, holding a banner that read "VA Students Act Against White Supremacy".

The protest was criticised by many local residents and politicians. Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer called the march "a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism and intolerance".

He wrote on Facebook : "Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here's mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA [University of Virginia] faculty member and alumnus,

I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus."


Charlottesville is considered a liberal college town - and 86% of the county voted for Hillary Clinton in last year's presidential elections.

However, the town has become a focal point for white nationalists after the city council voted to remove a statue of General Lee.

Some observers also argue that US President Donald Trump's election to the White House re-energised the far right across the US.





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