Nationalists involved in scuffles at torch-lit Virginia rally (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)


An estimated several hundred white nationalists descended on the University of Virginia's campus in Charlottesville on Friday night for an impromptu torchlit rally. "I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here".

"I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here", Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer said on his Twitter feed. "I urge all people of good will - go home", Signer wrote on Twitter.

At least seven people were hurt when a speeding vehicle slammed into another auto that was navigating through a throng of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, where a "Unite the Right" rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups was to take place. Video shows a auto ramming into the back of another auto, causing a pile-up and sending people over the top of the vehicle in front of it.

It was not immediately clear if the collision was intentional.

The two groups clashed before police broke it up, NBC29 in Charlottesville reported.

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The protests accompanied a "Unite the Right" rally that was called by white nationalists in response to a plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville, Virginia.

-This breaking news story will be updated.

City Attorney Craig Brown argued the decision was based exclusively on the number of people expected to attend the rally - which is 1,000, according to Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas's affidavit - and how it would affect public safety.

Citing crowd safety concerns, the city of Charlottesville approved a protest permit earlier this week for the event to specifically be held in a different larger park instead of the smaller Emancipation Park where the Lee statue stands. "These rights belong to the "Unite the Right" activists who will express their beliefs, and to the many others who disagree with them".

At least one person has been killed and several were injured at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, Saturday. We also support the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. One of those people died and 19 were being treated, a spokeswoman said without offering details on the injuries.

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More counter-protesters are expected at Saturday's planned demonstrations and authorities are bracing themselves for violence.

City officials and police say they are prepared for any violence.

Trump, on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, had meant to speak briefly at a ceremony marking the signing of bipartisan legislation to aid veterans, but he quickly found that those plans were overtaken by the escalating violence in the Virginia college town.

For many Americans, they are outdated symbols of racism, and have been mobilizing to have them taken down from public places.

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