Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Hundreds face off ahead of white nationalist rally

Published:Sunday | August 13, 2017 | 8:00 AM

CHARLOTTESVILLE,

Virginia (AP):

Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other yesterday morning at white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for what he termed a "pro-white" rally to protest the city of Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park.

It's the latest confrontation in Charlottesville since the city about 100 miles outside of Washington, DC, voted earlier this year to remove a statue of Lee.

In May, a torch-wielding group that included prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer gathered around the statue for a night-time protest, and in July, about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group travelled there for a rally, where they were met by hundreds of counter protesters.