Charlottesville Judge Sides With Alt-Right, Violence Breaks Out at Rotunda

Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a auto drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.

Saturday's clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters have grown so violent the governor has declared a state of emergency and police have ordered people to disperse. "We need an exorcism on the Lawn", Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics tweeted.

Early reports have said there are many with serious injuries.

At about 1:45 p.m., a vehicle turned towards a crowd counter-protesters and drove straight into it before driving off, according to witnesses.

Katie Couric, who is in Charlottesville covering the rally for an upcoming National Geographic series, said that protesters attacked her crew with urine. "Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry", he said.

Other footage shows people clashing in the town, with violence breaking out among protesters and counter-demonstrators.

In a facebook post, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer condemned the demonstration by white nationalists.

The march, dubbed the "Unite the Right: March on Charlottesville", was organized by criminally convicted Charlottesville local Jason Kessler and his white supremacist group Unity and Security for America.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who won the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary over progressive hopeful Tom Perriello in June, released a statement ahead of the rally condemning white supremacists and asking others not to respond with violence. Expectations were that counter protesters might turn out in larger numbers. The skirmishes unfolded just hours after a scuffle Friday night between torch-bearing demonstrators and counter-protesters at the nearby University of Virginia.

On Monday, the city said the rally would not be allowed to go forward unless it was moved to another park about a mile from the city's downtown, citing safety concerns due to crowd size.

Conrad also concluded that Kessler would suffer "irreparable harm" without the temporary injunction and that an injunction protecting his First Amendment rights is in the public interest.

In April, the city council voted to remove the bronze statue of Lee, CNN affiliate WVIR reported. Backed by the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Rutherford Institute, he sued Charlottesville, arguing that the city denied his permit not because of crowd size but because of the content of the rally. "It stuck a finger on the raw nerve of this population that has already failed to get over the election of Donald Trump", he said.

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