Charlottesville: Virginia governor tells white supremacists: 'Go home'

Charlottesville: Virginia governor tells white supremacists: 'Go home'

The "Unite the Right" march was called to protest against plans to remove a statue of General Robert E Lee, who had fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy during the US Civil War.


Charlottesville: Virginia governor tells white supremacists: 'Go home'

Charlottesville: Virginia governor tells white supremacists: 'Go home'

The violence in Charlottesville - a liberal college town - is a stark demonstration of the growing political divide in the US, which has intensified since President Trump's election last year.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for a "pro-white" rally, and white nationalists promoted the gathering widely.

Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, said several "white power" groups were present - including neo-Nazis and factions of the Ku Klux Klan.

The New York Times reports that some were chanting "You will not replace us," and "Jew will not replace us."

Anti-racism organisations such as Black Lives Matter held protests at the scene.

On Friday, the white nationalists held lit torches and chanted "White lives matter" as they marched through the University of Virginia in the city.

Charlottesville: Virginia governor tells white supremacists: 'Go home'

President Donald Trump condemned "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides".

"The hate and the division must stop right now," he told reporters, speaking in New Jersey, where he is on a working holiday. "We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation."

Democrats and Republicans alike took issue with his choice of words, noting that he failed to refer to the central role of white nationalists.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner tweeted: "Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism."

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, also a Republican, felt similarly.


Skip Twitter post by @senorrinhatch

We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH

— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017 Report

End of Twitter post by @senorrinhatch


"What we've seen today in Charlottesville needs to be condemned and called what it is: hatred, evil, racism & homegrown extremism," tweeted Democrat John Kerry, who served as US Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

One picture tweeted by author J K Rowling showed a man on the street carrying a swastika flag.

Speaking in Charlottesville, the city's Mayor Michael Signer said the city would fight back. "We've overcome McCarthyism, we've overcome segregation - and we're gonna overcome this."

He said those who brought burning torches to Virginia's lawns "belong in the trash heap of history".



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