White su­prem­a­cists spew their big­otry and turn vi­o­lent

New York Post - - NEWS - By BEN KOCHMAN

Vi­o­lent clashes pit­ting white su­prem­a­cists against coun­ter­protesters erupted in down­town Char­lottesville, Va., Satur­day, sparked by an on­go­ing con­tro­versy over the re­moval of a Con­fed­er­ate statue.

“White lives mat­ter! ‘Jew’ will not re­place us!” chanted the most rad­i­cal ral­ly­go­ers, who wore hel­mets and car­ried shields and clubs.

They also chanted Nazi-era slo­gans, in­clud­ing “Blood and soil” — a pro-Hitler ral­ly­ing cry.

Among those at the rally were for­mer Ku Klux Klan im­pe­rial wizard David Duke, alt-right leader Richard Spencer and na- tion­al­ist Ja­son Kessler, the rally’s or­ga­nizer.

Counter-pro­test­ers swarmed the rally in nearly equal num­bers, in­clud­ing Black Lives Mat­ter ac­tivists and Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor Cor­nel West.

Be­fore the rally could even start, the scene in Eman­ci­pa­tion Park — for­merly named for Con­fed­er­ate Gen. Robert E. Lee — de­volved into chaos.

Pro­test­ers from both sides threw punches, hurled plas­tic bot­tles and blasted each other with pep­per spray. Tear gas filled the air.

Sev­eral men had blood run­ning down their faces.

Of­fi­cials said a com­bined 15 peo­ple from both sides were hurt in the clashes.

Also, a 32-year-old woman was later killed when a car in­ten­tion­ally rammed into a group of counter-pro­test­ers.

The area death toll rose some three hours later when two State Po­lice of­fi­cers died in a he­li­copter crash about seven miles from the rally, au­thor­i­ties said.

The he­li­copter had been mon­i­tor­ing the protests. Of­fi­cials did not in­di­cate that the crash was oth­er­wise con­nected to the protests.

Char­lottesville po­lice and Vir­ginia State Po­lice stood nearby in riot gear as the clashes be­gan be­fore 11 a.m., do­ing noth­ing at first

to stop the vi­o­lence, The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe, blam­ing “mostly out-of-state pro­test­ers,” soon de­clared a state of emer­gency. Au­thor­i­ties sent in the Vir­ginia Na­tional Guard and or­dered hun­dreds of peo­ple out of the park.

De­spite cops’ de­ci­sion to put a halt to the rally, skir­mishes con­tin­ued to break out through­out the down­town of the nor­mally sleepy col­lege town un­til two hours later when the sil­ver Dodge Chal­lenger plowed into the pro­test­ers.

In ad­di­tion to the woman killed, five other peo­ple were in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, of­fi­cials said.

At a news con­fer­ence Satur­day night, McAuliffe said he had a mes­sage for “all the white su­prem­a­cists and the Nazis who came into Char­lottesville to­day: Go home. You are not wanted in this great com­mon­wealth.”

Mau­rice Jones, the town’s city man­ager, nearly broke into tears as he ad­dressed re­porters.

“Hate came to our town to­day in a way that we had feared but we had never re­ally let our­selves imag­ine would,” Jones said.

Satur­day’s chaos was fore­shad­owed Fri­day night, when torch-car­ry­ing white su­prem­a­cists yelling Nazi-era slo­gans marched through the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia cam­pus de­signed by Thomas Jef­fer­son. Counter-pro- testers re­ported be­ing blasted at the scene with pep­per spray and lighter fluid.

The un­rest in Char­lottesville is the lat­est in a se­ries of le­gal fights break­ing out across the coun­try over plans to tear down stat­ues and other Con­fed­er­ate sym­bols.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials had planned to re­move a statue of Lee fol­low­ing a pe­ti­tion started by an African-Amer­i­can high-school stu­dent.

The re­moval has been stayed by the courts, at least for now.

In May, a torch-wield­ing group of white na­tion­al­ists held a night­time protest at the statue.

Two months later, about 50 mem­bers of a North Carolin­abased KKK group ral­lied at the statue and clashed with hun­dreds of counter-pro­test­ers.

Char­lottesville of­fi­cials have been mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to shed its Con­fed­er­ate past — spark­ing out­rage from white su­prem­a­cist groups.

In ad­di­tion to re­nam­ing Lee park, where the statue stands, to Eman­ci­pa­tion Park, the city had changed the name of Jack­son Park, named for or Con­fed­er­ate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jack­son, to Jus­tice Park.

Na­tional elected of­fi­cials from both ma­jor par­ties moved quickly to con­demn Satur­day’s vi­o­lence.

“The views fuel­ing the spec­ta­cle in Char­lottesville are re­pug­nant. Let it only serve to unite Amer­i­cans against this kind of vile big­otry,” tweeted Repub­li­can House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan.

Pres­i­dent Trump first chimed in on the chaos with an early-af­ter­noon tweet, writ­ing at 1:19 p.m., “We ALL must be united & con­demn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of vi­o­lence in Amer­ica. Lets come to­gether as one!”

Ex-KKKer Duke jabbed Trump for con­demn­ing the vi­o­lence — ar­gu­ing that it was white na­tion­al­ists who got Trump elected.

“I would rec­om­mend you take a good look in the mir­ror & re­mem­ber it was White Amer­i­cans who put you in the pres­i­dency, not rad­i­cal left­ists,” Duke tweeted.

BAT­TLE OF CHAR­LOTTESVILLE: Clashes be­tween white su­prem­a­cists and anti-big­otry pro­test­ers erupted Satur­day in Char­lottesville, Va., with some us­ing pep­per spray (left). Above, alt-right leader Richard Spencer mixes it up. Right, a demon­stra­tor in sym­bolic chains squares off against pur­vey­ors of ha­tred.


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