A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia after an alt-right rally of right-wing demonstrators turned violent on Saturday. After a series of clashes on Friday night, things got even worse on Saturday just before the start of the official rally at noon on Aug. 12. And on Twitter, the videos of violence at the Charlottesville alt-right rally are leaving people horrified.
Several hundred people had gathered in Charlottesville, VA for a “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, organized by right-wing leaders. It followed Friday night's march of alt-right demonstrators at the University of Virginia campus, where torch-carrying white nationalists surrounded counter-protesters around the base of a statue, yelling slurs and throwing torches. A video from a counter-protester on the ground seems to show the moment things went violent, as a alt-right demonstrator begins attacking counter protesters.
And on Saturday, things went from bad to worse.
Videos from the protests around Emancipation Park show what seems to be nearly an all-out brawl, with some wielding Confederate flags as weapons, or carrying makeshift shields. Demonstrators clashed in the middle of the street as others tried to get out of the way. A lone police car is visible in the crowd.
People were horrified.
Other photos showed images of demonstrators carrying Nazi flags, or chanting hateful slurs.
Huffington Post reporter Andy Campbell posted many of the images and videos to his Twitter.
There were also reports of demonstrators pulling guns, and early photos and videos showed militia groups arriving heavily armed.
There were also reports of tear gas and pepper spray, though it wasn't always clear who fired it.
Shortly before noon, police declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly,” per CNN, and ordered the crowd to disperse. There were reports of pepper spray fired between protesters, and Governor Terry McAuliffe quickly announced a state of emergency via Twitter. State police also said that a number of people had been arrested.