Tensions between protesters and the alt-right took a turn for the worst on Saturday when a car plowed through the protesters opposing white nationalism. Earlier in the day, brawls were reported between members of both sides and the police was forced to cancel a planned a white nationalist rally.
One person behind a wheel of car decided to up the ante of political violence. This car struck two vehicles, as protesters bodies flew in the air and blood stained the ground and windshields. Roughly 15-20 have been injured in this incident. The person behind the wheel reportedly hit the crowd at 40 mph. Witnesses believe the driver’s actions to be intentional.
“Yeah, it was intentional,” said a witness. “About 40 miles an hour, hit about 15-20 people, crashed into the two cars in front of it, and then backed up and sped away while cops were standing on the side of the road and didn’t do anything.”
The car then went in reverse at top speed and fled the scene. There is obvious damage to the front of the vehicle. Authorities first reported that at least six pedestrians had been struck, and they ordered other protesters (and pedestrians) to clear the scene. Now, officials are reporting that 19 people have been injured and one 32-year-old woman has died. The suspected driver has been apprehended by police.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer wrote on Twitter that “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” and “I urge all people of good will — go home.”
Here’s another angle of the crime:
The car that struck protesters has a Ohio license plate, according to this photo from Ryan M. Kelly’s Twitter page:
Here’s an image of that same car plowing through the crowd as protesters flip in the air…
Earlier in the day, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency as both sides brawled in Charlotesville Park. Both protesters and counter-protesters were involved with violent scuffles. State officials came to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and as a result helmet-clad white supremacist came out to defend the statue’s position in the park. Possibly as a result of Saturday’s protests and clashes, the statue will remain in place for at least six more months following a judge’s decision to issue a temporary injunction.
Both sides threw projectiles at one another. Protesters and counter-protesters sprayed one another with chemicals and hurled plastic bottles, according to reports. One man was seen with blood running down his face.
Police responded with an image of authority as they set up barricades and put on riot gear. Officers ordered both sides to disperse, and no arrest has yet been reported.
On Friday, white nationalists reportedly carried torches and marched around the University of Virginia, yelling out “white lives matter” and Nazi slogans. This crowd of white supremacists also allegedly punched counter-protesters and sprayed them with chemicals.