Woman killed and 19 hurt as car plows into anti-fascists at white nationalist rally

Woman killed and 19 hurt as car plows into anti-fascists at white nationalist rally, by Valerie Edwards.

At least one person is dead after a driver intentionally plowed into a group of anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, following violent clashes that erupted between white nationalists and activists on Saturday.

James Alex Fields Jr, of Maumee, Ohio, is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Video of the Dodge Challenger, which is registered to Fields, showed the driver accelerating into the crowd throwing bodies into the air as people scream before reversing at high speed.

The incident killed a 32-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released by authorities pending her family’s notification.

Fields was apprehended and arrested a few blocks away from the bloody scene. …

Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said a total of 35 people had been treated for injuries, 14 of those were from individual engagements on the streets.

Horrifying video from the scene of the attack shows the silver muscle car speeding towards a group of fleeing anti-fascist protesters. …

Witnesses said the car was traveling up to 40 miles an hour when it hit and reversed before ramming into the crowd again and speeding off …

Witnesses said moments before the car plowed into the crowd, a counter-protester had allegedly thrown a rock at the car, causing the driver to swivel around and ram into people and two cars in its way. …

It is believed a counter protester had thrown a rock at the vehicle, causing the driver to swivel around and ram into people and cars in its way, before driving off with someone’s shoe attached to its bumper. …

In addition to the dozen of people hurt in the accident, at least 15 people were already being treated for their injures during other destructive clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at Emancipation Park before the controversial Unite the Right rally. …

The day was met with more tragedy, when a Virginia State Police helicopter, believed to be carrying two people, crashed inside city limits and thick black smoke was seen rising from behind the trees, according to local reports. …

President Trump admonished the day’s tragic events, saying in a press conference: ‘We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, violence, on many sides… The hate and division must stop, and must stop right now’ …

He said: ‘We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other.’ …

Trump had earlier tweeted about the violence that erupted amid the white supremacist march. He tweeted that ‘we ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for.’ He then wrote ‘There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!’ …

Counter-protesters flocked to the march in retaliation against the white nationalists, neo-Confederates and alt-right activists, screaming: ‘We’re here, we’re gay, we fight the KKK!’ …

Between 4,000 and 6,000 people from groups including white nationalists, neo-Confederates and alt-right activists were expected to protest at the park, which had recently been renamed from Lee Park.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a ‘pro-white’ rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Supporters and counter-protesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other. Men dressed in militia uniforms were carrying shields and openly carrying guns.

The protest hadn’t yet begun when two people were seriously injured and protesters reportedly deployed pepper spray, according to state police. …

Jason Kessler, the organizer of the rally, said he disavows the violence that eroded it. The alt-right blogger said in an interview later that day that whoever drove a car into a group of counter-protesters ‘did the wrong thing.’ He said he was saddened that people were hurt. …

Cliff Erickson leaned against a fence and took in the scene. He said he thinks removing the statue amounts to erasing history and said the ‘counter protesters are crazier than the alt-right. Both sides are hoping for a confrontation,’ he said. …

Almost 200 white nationalists, neo-Confederates, and alt-right activists, were heard chanting ‘white lives matter’ and ‘Jews will not replace us’. …

On July 8, a few dozen Ku Klux Klan marchers gathered in Charlottesville to protest plans to remove the statue of Lee. But they were outnumbered by hundreds of jeering counter-protesters.