Date
19 August 2017
People gather for a vigil outside the White House on Sunday following the death of a counter-demonstrator at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia the previous day. Photo: Reuters
People gather for a vigil outside the White House on Sunday following the death of a counter-demonstrator at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia the previous day. Photo: Reuters

One killed as car rams crowd opposing far-right rally in US

One person was killed and 19 others injured after a car plowed through a crowd of people opposing a far-right rally in the US state of Virginia over the weekend.

Authorities in Charlottesville arrested four people in connection with violence at an alt-right and white nationalist rally on Saturday, which claimed the life of a 32-year-old woman.

The arrested include James Fields, a 20-year-old white man who is suspected of deliberately crashing a car into a crowd, Reuters reports. 

The incident happened during a “Unite the Right” rally called by white nationalists to protest against plans to remove a statue of a general who had fought for the Confederacy during the US Civil War.

Video posted on social media showed a car ploughing at speed into several slow-moving vehicles, which were surrounded by a densely packed crowd.

A witness told BBC that one girl got “tore up” after the car “backed up and hit again”. 

The car involved in the ramming incident was later located a few streets away and the driver was placed in custody, the city’s police chief said.

Police earlier fired tear gas against demonstrators and said that arrests had been made after a declaration of unlawful assembly at Emancipation Park.

The far-right protesters, some waving Confederate flags, carrying shields and wearing helmets, are angry about the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee from Charlottesville.

Gen Lee commanded the pro-slavery Confederate forces in the US Civil War of 1861-65.

Earlier, street brawls erupted between white nationalists planning to attend the march and counter-protesters.

President Donald Trump condemned the violence, but he was accused by people across the political spectrum of not explicitly denouncing white supremacists.

Following the criticism, the White House insisted on Sunday that Trump’s remarks condemning violence at the Virginiarally were meant to include the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups.

Across the US, events were planned on Sunday to “stand in solidarity with Charlottesville … honor all those under attack by congregating against hate”.

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RC

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