US car-ramming is 'terror' says Trump aide

August 13, 2017

White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter protesters at a Virginia rally in the US.

President Donald Trump has condemned violence that erupted between white nationalists and counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"We must ALL be united & condemn all that hate stands for," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "There is no place for this kind of violence in America."

Officials had approved the protest march in downtown Charlottesville but cancelled the event and declared a state of emergency after outbreaks of violence.

Governor Terry McAuliffe declared the state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters on Saturday morning.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for a "pro-white" rally to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park.

It's the latest in a string of rallies focusing on the statue.

In May, a torch-wielding group that included prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer gathered around the statue for a night-time protest, and in July, about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group travelled there for a rally, where they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters.

Kessler said this week that the rally is partly about the removal of Confederate symbols but also about free speech and "advocating for white people".

Between rally attendees and counter-protesters, authorities were expecting as many as 6000 people, Charlottesville police said this week.

Among those expected to attend are Confederate heritage groups, KKK members, militia groups and "alt-right" activists, who generally espouse a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which track extremist groups, said the event has the potential to be the largest of its kind in at least a decade.

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