On Friday the 11th of August 2017, hundreds of White supremacists marched to the University of Virginia, carrying torches. They were chanting “blood and soil”, “white lives matter” in Charlottesville, a town with a population of about 46,000 people. They were protesting against the removal of the statue of General Robert E Lee, a Confederate icon.
According to Aljazeera this is described as one of the largest white supremacist events in the US in a long time. It was organised by Jason Kessler a member of an Ultra nationalist group and a former journalist. On Saturday the protesters gathered again, only this time they met counter demonstrators who are opposed to white supremacy.
The white supremacists where aggressive and the two groups of protesters clashed. At 11:28 am, a local state of emergency was declared in Charlottesville. At 1:42 pm, white supremacists drove into a crowd of counter demonstrators. A 32 year old woman, Heather Heyer was killed and 35 people were injured.
The Mayor of Charlottesville Michael Singer, called the protests “terrorism” and blamed President Donald Trump saying, “look at the campaign he ran”. The Mayor was making a reference to Donald Trump’s election campaign supporting white nationalism. Some of the protesters wore the “make America great again” red hats and saluted Donald Trump. The governor of Virginia released a statement saying “Go home….shame on you” to the white supremacist protesters.
President Trump has not denounced the white supremacist protests and instead is said to have blamed ” both sides”, according to CNN.
The police is said to have exerted more force on the protesters during the black lives matter protests than they did to the white supremacists in Charlottesville.
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