There is mayhem in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia at the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally, but there wasn’t a peep from President Trump for hours.
According to multiple witnesses on the scene, clergy members who were blocking entrances and counter-protesting a rally featuring white supremacist shitlords Richard Spencer and David Duke — the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan — were attacked by an army of white nationalists.
Multiple injuries have been reported and a local state of emergency has been declared, according to local media. The state of emergency allows for local officials in Charlottesville to bring in additional law enforcement resources to the scene to regain order. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has reported placed the National Guard on standby.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 12, 2017
— Brian Young (@byoungxxiii) August 12, 2017
— ACLU of Virginia (@ACLUVA) August 12, 2017
— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) August 12, 2017
The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported that the outbreak of violence began at Emancipation Park at approximately 11:20 AM on Friday, roughly 40 minutes before the “Unite the Right” rally was scheduled to take place at the site of a controversial statue memorializing Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The rally itself was organized in part by Jason Kessler, who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, made a name for himself by vowing to oust Charlottesville’s sole black city council member. Kessler also organized the torchlit rally of white supremacists in May of 2017, which featured Spencer.
As of this writing, there are multiple reports of counter-protesters being pepper-sprayed by the white supremacists attending the rally, though local police have reportedly not yet intervened in any meaningful way:
White nationalists are attacking people & clergy in #Charlottesville, & the police aren't doing anything.No riot gear,no tanks,no tear gas
— Neale (@AbeFroman) August 12, 2017
These white nationalists are throwing objects at the police and yet I see no guns, no tear gas, tasers, hoses, tanks. #Charlottesville
— Dani (@dani_ghfan) August 12, 2017
Looks like we used up all the police tanks, pepper spray, and riot gear for black folks demanding justice. None left for #Charlottesville
— Baratunde (@baratunde) August 12, 2017
Clergy are being attacked by white supremacists. Lord have mercy on us. We cannot continue down this path! #Charlottesville
— Brad Davis (@RevBradleyUMC) August 12, 2017
Before the violence broke out, David Duke, who was one of President Trump’s earliest supporters, ominously referred to the white supremacist gathering as something that “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.”
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) August 12, 2017
During an interview on MSNBC, Richard Painter, who was one of former President George W. Bush’s ethics advisors, called on cities and states to remove all Confederate monuments, and demanded President Trump fire top advisors Stephen K. Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, both of whom have ties to hate groups.
The answer to this is to remove every single monument to the rebel traitors on public lands anywhere in the USA. https://t.co/7Hqeu7RnWH
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) August 12, 2017
However, despite the local state of emergency and reports of violence, President Trump has not yet tweeted any condemnation of either the violence at the rally or the values of its attendees.
UPDATE (1:57 PM ET): President Trump sent a tweet several hours after the outbreak of violence condemning the rally participants’ actions. The account @commondefense reminded the president that white supremacists were marching in his name.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
The Nazis are marching in your name, shouting "Heil Trump." pic.twitter.com/cJrqhJWuJo
— Vets Against Trump (@commondefense) August 12, 2017
UPDATE (3:23 PM ET): A silver Dodge Charger was seen purposefully driving at a high rate of speed into a group of several dozen counter-protesters. Multiple injuries have been reported. Moments later, the car was seen fleeing the scene in reverse down the same street with its bumper hanging. The driver has reportedly been arrested, according to a journalist on the scene.
“Somebody was deliberately running down people,” an eyewitness named Wyatt said. “I was just trying to pick people up off the ground and make sure that nobody was dead.”
Video of car hitting anti-racist protestors. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/MUOZs71Pf4
— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
This is a developing story, and will be updated as more details emerge.
Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based writer and commentator specializing in national and state government issues for Grit Post. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.