Violence and chaos broke out on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday during a white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally. Tensions were already bound to be high after a Friday night demonstration at the University of Virginia, wherein proud white nationalists marched through the school's campus carrying torches, chanting racist and homophobic slogans, and getting into physical altercations with counter-protesters. By 11 a.m., Gov. Terry McAuliffe had declared a state of emergency.
On Saturday, hundreds of members of the "alt-right" and white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Vanguard America, and Identity Evropa were met by hundreds of protesters and activists opposing their messages.
The scene was immediately strained with hostility, and the rally, which was set to begin at noon at Emancipation Park, was declared an "unlawful assembly" by police shortly before its scheduled start. According to CNN, the catalysts for this decision were fistfights and "screaming matches" unfolding in multiple locations.
Shortly before 2 p.m. EST, one "Unite the Right" supporter was captured on video plowing a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, injuring at least 10 pedestrians. Shortly after, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer revealed that one person had died.
Here are what some people on the ground at Charlottesville witnessed.
The Identity Evropa March missed the entrance to the rally, protesters jeer — "You get lost??" and "I'm a Jew if anyone wants to try it!" pic.twitter.com/QdeipSQP1T— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) August 12, 2017
3. Devastating Violence
4. Lack Of Police Aggression
There's just no way a park full of heavily armed black men would be treated the same way. pic.twitter.com/TUBOyg3Wru— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
5. When The People You Hate Treat You Nicely...
Favorite moment so far- two white supremacists with wooden shields & swords lept in terror as gay black man offered them a bottle of water.— Tom Perriello (@tomperriello) August 12, 2017
6. Misleading "Guards"
To be clear, these are NOT national guard but racist private militias posing as state actors to protect nazis and provoke. pic.twitter.com/PuoHNmXRpg— Tom Perriello (@tomperriello) August 12, 2017
7. Police Clear Park
The police have cleared the park and surrounding streets. Only real intervention I've seen from them. They basically ignored all the fights pic.twitter.com/PCNzgOwNlM— Ned Oliver (@nedoliver) August 12, 2017
8. Apparently This Was The Motive
Spectator told me a white nationalist car had been trashed so a driver plowed into counter protesters. I saw some taken away in bad shape. pic.twitter.com/k8B1N19lCT— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) August 12, 2017
9. No Question It Was Intentional
Video of car hitting anti-racist protestors. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/MUOZs71Pf4— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
10. One Of The Witnesses
Charlottesville resident Nic McCarthy witnessed an unmarked car drive into a crowd of people, back up, hit them again and drive off. pic.twitter.com/w1V4kEkHVx— C-VILLE Weekly (@cvillenews_desk) August 12, 2017
11. Trump Will Probably Ignore This
Alt-right marcher shouting "Heil Trump." pic.twitter.com/vAaXq5pFYc— Tom Perriello (@tomperriello) August 12, 2017
12. Counter-Protesters Denounce The Hate
13. Kind Of Fitting
14. Calling Out The Police
15. Black Lives Matter
16. Escalation From Tense To Terrifying
Things were tense but calm, turned scary in a hurry. Car plowed into a bunch of people next to the garage we parked in. Horrific scene. pic.twitter.com/riO4fjf4O2— Anna Stelter (@annajstelter) August 12, 2017
17. Aftermath Of Crash.
From above the aftermath of the crash. Two of the three vehicles involved remain. pic.twitter.com/fQSdsfxJlp— Anna Higgins (@annahigginsuva) August 12, 2017
18. Former KKK Leader David Duke Showing Up
19. Duke Giving A Speech
David Duke: We:re the victims. Today first step in taking America back. pic.twitter.com/c92eSurtml— C-VILLE Weekly (@cvillenews_desk) August 12, 2017
20. He Ended It With Anti-Semitism
David Duke ends with denouncing Jews, "The goyim now!" Word someone with rifles coming. pic.twitter.com/fqCdXL95pw— C-VILLE Weekly (@cvillenews_desk) August 12, 2017
Black Lives Matter follows white nationalists to Market Street parking garage. Fighting starts at entrance to garage. Injuries on both sides pic.twitter.com/7yQs5AtYMP— C-VILLE Weekly (@cvillenews_desk) August 12, 2017
22. Emergency Response
People being loaded into ambulances. Witnesses describe a car driving purposefully into marching crowd and other cars. pic.twitter.com/eS3Fu3e6Lb— Jackie K. (@JackieKru) August 12, 2017
23. Clashing With Police
24. Richard Spencer Pepper Sprayed
25. Message To White Supremacists
President Trump held a press conference on Saturday afternoon to address the events in Charlottesville. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides ― on many sides," he said. "It’s been going on for a long time in our country, not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, it’s been going on for a long, long time.”
He further stated, “We wanna get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it. We want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.”