Charlottesville, Virginia — Charlottesville became ground zero today as a white nationalist rally known as the “Unite the Right” which was planned for Saturday to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee was met with an equal amount of counter-protesters and quickly turned violent and now has claimed one life.
Prior to skirmishes breaking out at the Emancipation Park there was a tense standoff with white nationalists waving Nazi flags shouting racial slurs and anti-gay rhetoric were met with an equally aggressive counter-protest. Among the white nationalist presence were an unknown armed militia group decked out in their full “G.I. Joe” milsim regalia encircled the white nationalist group to provide protection.
Then in thunder-clap surprise the angry verbal vitriol being thrown by both sides graduated to violence as both groups got into fistacuffs with minor injuries on both sides being reported.
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 12, 2017
Soon after the first few violent clashes started, the Virginia State Police deployed in riot gear and declared the Unite The Right rally as an unlawful assembly and began clearing the park of both protests using billy clubs, riot shields, and pepper spray. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe seeing the violence only getting worse declared a ‘state of emergency’ and as of this report Virginia National Guard were deployed.
Then in an act of what can only be abject rage and terror, an unknown person drove a vehicle into a large group of counter-protesters sending people into the air and pinning a mother and daughter between two vehicles. The screams of panic and “MEDIC!” can be heard from the stunned crowd as the driver then backed away at high-speed leaving the scene.
BREAKING: University of Virginia Medical Center tells NYT it has treated 19 people injured in #Charlottesville protests. 1 person has died
— Brian M. Rosenthal (@brianmrosenthal) August 12, 2017
Currently it has been confirmed that one person is dead along with 18 more with injuries ranging from minimal to life threatening.
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) August 12, 2017
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT:
Right now Charlottesville is reeling from what looks like an attack by an unknown person or persons. Vocal outcry from those on the scene are demanding this be labeled as an act of ‘domestic terrorism’ as this ploy to use vehicles as a weapon has largely been championed by radical Islamist terror groups like the Islamic State who have called this type of attack “The Human Lawnmower.” It is feared that more violence may erupt as the already saddening day of rage in Charlottesville goes into night.
This is a developing situation and SOFREP will be tracking this story and providing updates as they come in.
Feature image courtesy of: Twitter