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Virginia governor declares state of emergency as white nationalist rally in Charlottesville breaks out in violence

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency as demonstrations in Charlottesville erupted into violence Saturday morning.

The demonstrations precede a “Unite the Right” rally 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.

Thousands of white nationalist protesters, as well as groups that oppose them, have clashed during demonstrations that are currently ongoing.

Two people have been treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries, according to Charlottesville officials.

Images of the protest have appeared on online and show the intensity of the confrontation between the opposing groups.

Below, members of the white nationalists clash with a group of counter-protesters.

A member of white nationalists is seen with injuries following a clash with counter protesters.

Charlottesville police worked to reign in the chaos developing in the streets.

On Twitter, images and videos depict the violence, and police confronting protesters and deploying tear gas. 

Former KKK leader David Duke was in Charlottesville and called the rally a “turning point,” saying that protesters would fulfil the promises of President Donald Trump.

Last night, hundreds of white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters on the University of Virginia’s Charlottesville campus.

At one point, marchers gathered around a statue of Thomas Jefferson and a brawl between the two groups broke out.

Protesters have already drawn rebuke from leaders in the community. In a Facebook post, Mike Signer, the mayor of Charlottesville, called the demonstrations by white nationalists a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”

The president of UVA, Teresa A. Sullivan, also condemned the “unprovoked assault on members of our community.”

The demonstrations on Friday and Saturday come just a month after 23 people were arrested and police deployed tear gas after a Ku Klux Klan rally in the city.

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