A crazy car drove into a group of anti-racist counter-demonstrators, causing the death of one person and injuring several others.
Drama in Charlottesville, Virginia ( USA ). A car crashed Saturday on a group of anti-racist demonstrators who opposed a rally of far-right clusters, killing one and 19 wounded. This seemingly voluntary accident occurred shortly after the banning of this demonstration enameled by violent clashes. A situation that led President Donald Trump to denounce the “hatred” expressed, but without wanting to point the blame on the radical right.
“We walked down the street when a car, a black or gray sedan, drove us on it, it hit everybody. Then it backed up and struck us again,” told Agence France-Presse a witness. A video posted on social networks shows a dark colored car hitting another vehicle from the rear, which itself enters the third car in front of him. The car responsible for the collision then rushes backward in the middle of the panicked demonstrators.
Twenty people were transported by the rescue, one died and 19 were taken to the hospital, said the University of Virginia Medical Center.
We "RT RedTRaccoon: This is terrorism in #Charlottesville
A car being driven into a crowd of civilians is an inte… pic.twitter.com/lfCiD5KJee"
— Benyl (@Benyl6) August 12, 2017
According to locals, the victims were counter-demonstrators who came to denounce the presence in Charlottesville of groups of the radical right and American identity, including the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.
An Agence France-Presse journalist on the scene saw injured people lying on the ground, people in tears, stretchers, ambulances and fire trucks. The police launched an appeal to witness. “A girl on the ground was mutilated. It was voluntary, they deliberately backed off,” said a man who witnessed the scene. Another video showed the hood and the windshield of the car struck with bloodstains.
— ¶ – 🅣 – 🅐 (@PorteTonAme) August 12, 2017
The tragedy occurred in a climate of high tension, two hours after the abortive rally of right-wing activists. In clashing tear gas, clashes between protesters of the radical right and counter-demonstrators had multiplied before the planned start of the event, giving rise to brawls, projectiles and stick beats. These clashes had caused 15 wounded according to the police.
Fears of more severe overruns were heightened by the presence of open arms by demonstrators, as permitted by law in the state of Virginia. Members of extreme right-wing militias had positioned themselves in paramilitary uniforms, semi-automatic rifles slung over their shoulders. In the face of the incidents, police in riot gear decided shortly before noon (4 pm GMT) to ban the planned demonstration and proceeded to evacuate the public park where it stood. The forces of order have carried out an unknown number of interpellation.
The Democratic governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, declared at midday a state of emergency to mobilize more police.
In a press conference improvised from his vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Trump condemned “in the strongest terms possible this enormous demonstration of hatred, sectarianism, and violence from various parties.” Questioned by journalists, he refused to explicitly condemn the far right movements.
The groups of the radical right and American identity presently intended to denounce in a unitary way the project of Charlottesville to dismantle in this municipal garden the statue of a general Southeast favorable to the slavery.
Melania Trump reacts
Usually relatively miserly in public comment, the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump had preceded her husband by condemning sectarianism. “Nothing good emerges from violence,” she wrote on Twitter.
Some militants gathered, professing the supremacy of the white race, came with Confederate flags, a symbol considered racist by a good part of the Americans. Others wore Nazi symbols.
Ku Klux Klan
Gov. McAuliffe on Friday called on the residents to avoid going to the rally called “Unite the Right Rally”, which he said was “abject” and for which a detachment of the National Guard had been set up alert.
On 8 July, a few dozen members of the Ku Klux Klan had already gathered in this peaceful and picturesque city, largely outnumbered by anti-racist demonstrators. But the images of these extremists in traditional dress had been spread all over the world.
This time, the nationalist right hoped to attract more supporters, thanks to the presence of various leaders of the Alt-Right movement, who had supported Donald Trump during his campaign.