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Protest over Lee statue in Virginia turns violent

By Democrat-Gazette staff and wire reports

This article was originally published August 13, 2017 at 3:56 a.m. Updated August 13, 2017 at 3:56 a.m.

A car sends people flying Saturday as it plows into a crowd after a protest against white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va. The driver was arrested, officials said.

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Photos by The Associated Press

Torch-bearing white nationalists gather around a statue of Robert E. Lee during a demonstration Friday night in Charlottesville, Va.

White nationalists clash with counterprotesters Saturday in a Charlottesville, Va., street.

Violence flared Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists who had gathered to protest the removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee monument clashed with counterprotesters, and a car plowed into a crowd, resulting in at least one death and prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.

Click here for larger versions
Photos by The Associated Press

Torch-bearing white nationalists gather around a statue of Robert E. Lee during a demonstration Friday night in Charlottesville, Va.

White nationalists clash with counterprotesters Saturday in a Charlottesville, Va., street.

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Print Headline: Protest over Lee statue in Virginia turns violent

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RBear says... August 13, 2017 at 6:17 a.m.

The incident in Charlottesville and the events that followed highlights the how bad racial issues have gotten. There are so many facets to this incident that need to be addressed. To start with, this municipality has every right to remove the statue. It is not a part of history. Statues aren't history. Statues are intended to honor individuals or events. Honoring rebellious generals who fought to uphold slavery venerates them and provides a rally point for racists. It is time we take down those statues. History is only changed when we attempt to rationalize why our nation engaged in a civil war that saw more loss of life than any war our country has ever engaged in.
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White nationalists came to Charlottesville with the intention of causing problems. These protesters came to the city and started by marching through UVA with torches chanting "blood and soil," violently confronting a small group of students who opposed them. The next day, counterprotesters were not going to let the white nationalists have the upper hand and opposed them. While the confrontations were aggressive, no one was killed or severely injured.
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It was only later when counterprotesters were leaving and walking through the downtown mall area, a pedestrian friendly section of the city, did a protester from out of state drive his car into the crowd, killing one person and injuring many. It highlighted the intentions of these protesters, taking the protests to violent levels.
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But what really highlighted the issues we face is the response of our president on this matter. At a time the nation needed him to truly acknowledge the wrong of white nationalists and distance himself from them, he condemned "all sides" for the problems in Charlottesville. During the campaign, he would often chastise Clinton and others for not calling out "radical Islamic terrorists." Yet when terrorism happens on our own soil by white nationalists, Trump blames "all sides."
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While this may rally his base, and it has with some of the comments I've seen here and other places, it distances him from the vast majority of America and even key members of his own party. They saw the need to call this out. He didn't and the silence from the WH is deafening.

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PopulistMom says... August 13, 2017 at 8:10 a.m.

Thank you, RBear. Thanks also to John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Orrin Hatch who have denounced these white supremacists at a time when our president blames "all sides." Most of the neo-nazis and white supremacists who marched were Trump supporters, and many mentioned his name as part of the movement to "take back America." The actions of these haters (most of whom appeared to be from out-of-state) should have no reflection on Charlottesville, where I went to college, which is a progressive and open minded college town.

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TimberTopper says... August 13, 2017 at 8:24 a.m.

Too bad the Bush crowd beat McCain out when they did. He'd have made a much better POTUS than Bush did.

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WGT says... August 13, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.

RBear is right. Well said. Trump displays his heartless direction by the choice of words he used to comment. The display of protest is a culturally ingrained habit/abscess, at the boiling point. Trump must completely denounce the event as a terroist attack.

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BOLTAR says... August 13, 2017 at 8:38 a.m.

As did Hitler and Mussolini, the Fascist President inspires right-wing violence and murder and then provides cover for his racist followers by deploying the absurd false-equivalence fallacy. In German and Italy, the scapegoats were Jews, but today's American Fascists glorify slavers and attack black people.

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skeptic1 says... August 13, 2017 at 9:27 a.m.

This is Obama's legacy, he should have been the ultimate racial uniter, instead he set back race relations 50 years. Inviting Black Lives Matter to the White House, saying if he had a son he'd look like Trevon Martin, and even now in light of all that is going on in the world he put his golf club down only to make a comment about this incident.

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RaylanGivens says... August 13, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

Scumbags pure and simple

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Packman says... August 13, 2017 at 10:08 a.m.

President Trump is no more or less to blame for Charlottesville than BH Obama was to blame for the multiple Michael Brown race riots. Anyone that says otherwise is a moron.
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The views expressed by these racist morons are repugnant and reprehensible but allowed by the 1st Amendment. This violence was totally unnecessary and provoked by the antifa protestors. The racists should be allowed to peaceably assemble. The antifa should let them. None of this would have happened if the antifa would learn to play nice.
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And in 3,2,1 I will be called a racist and/or racist sympathizer for making a very valid point that has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with common sense and the 1st Amendment.

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ARMNAR says... August 13, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.

Hey, if the hood fits...

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drs01 says... August 13, 2017 at 10:24 a.m.

This is madness. The pigeons are pissed that a statue might be removed from a city park. But even the pigeons will crap on any statue, even MLK, BHO or Bill Clinton. And 20 years from now (if there is still a USA) radicals will want to remove park names, statues, and historical references to the likes of whatever they "feel" offensive. And the poor pigeons will have to find somewhere else to crap.

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