One protester was killed and nineteen others were injured when a speeding car plowed into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters during an increasingly violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. Fourteen others were injured in violent clashes earlier in the day.
The car struck two other cars that were surrounded by protesters and not moving, in what was clearly a deliberate act. The impact sent bodies into the air. Then the driver threw the car into reverse, reportedly hitting more protesters, and drove away. “We heard a loud crunch of metal hitting bodies,” said one witness.
The driver was later arrested by police.
Video of car hitting anti-racist protestors. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/MUOZs71Pf4
— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
Video of driving through crowd of protesters in #Charlottesville
— Severin Jahn (@severin_jahn) August 12, 2017
— Bill McKenna (@WM_BBC) August 12, 2017
“The acts and rhetoric in #Charlottesville over past 24 hours are unacceptable & must stop,” Gov. McAullife wrote on Twitter. “A right to speech is not a right to violence.”
Saturday’s rally was organized to protest the removal a confederate monument, and was scheduled to start at noon. Charlottesville’s downtown was roiled by white supremacists hours ahead of schedule, many whom were chanting things like “White lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us,” and facing off violently with Black Lives Matter protesters and antifa groups.
Others chanted “Blood and soil,” a Nazi slogan. They also pepper-sprayed counter-protesters, and waved flags painted with swastikas.
Many of the white supremacist groups were “very well organized,” in combat gear, with security, and vans, according to a VICE News team at the scene. An unidentified militia in combat gear, some toting assault rifles, were also in the mix. It is legal to carry guns openly in Virginia for anyone over 18. CNN reported that police were making multiple arrests, but it was unclear how many.
White supremacist David Duke, speaking on camera, said that the rally “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.”
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