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Auto hits people at Charlottesville rally - several injured

13 August 2017

Several hundred people were peacefully marching through downtown.

Officials didn't immediately release any further information and it wasn't immediately clear if anyone was in custody.

Right-wing protesters clashed with counter-demonstrators before the "Unite the Right" rally against plans to remove a statue honouring Confederate general Robert E Lee from a Charlottesville park. At least one of the injured was a university police officer. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D, had earlier declared a state of emergency following the violent eruption.

Mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and blamed Trump for inflaming racial prejudices with his campaign previous year.

But the president's words didn't sit well with Duke, who began by claiming that the violence was initiated by "the same radical leftists" who previously caused disruptions at Trump rallies. Trump tweeted Saturday that "We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for".

According to multiple witnesses, the victims were counter-protestors who had descended on Charlottesville to denounce so-called "alt-right" demonstrators, among them Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi sympathizers.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, said numerous people at the rally will "express viewpoints many people, including me, find abhorrent".

"This isn't how he should have to grow up", she said. They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West.

A STATE OF emergency has been declared in the small city of Charlottesville in the USA state of Virginia ahead of a mass far-right demonstration.

"Virginia is the birthplace of the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly that make our country great", McAuliffe said.

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Clashes involved people hitting each other with sticks and spraying irritants.

And the Anti-Defamation League said the rally is "the latest indication that the darkest corners of society are emboldened to come forward and openly parade their bigotry on main street".

He blamed Charlottesville officials for cancelling the rally. Police took the vehicle's driver into custody.

Businesses in the area closed down for the day due to the protest.

Both local hospitals said they were prepared for an influx of patients and had extra staff on call to help.

A state of emergency has been declared in Charlottesville, Virginia, after violence erupted ahead of a large march by white supremacists.

Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer said in a statement of the torch-bearing white nationalists, "I have seen tonight the images of torches on the Grounds of the University of Virginia". He then wrote "There is no place for this kind of violence in America".

City Attorney Craig Brown argued the decision was based exclusively on the number of people expected to attend the rally - which is 1,000, according to Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas's affidavit - and how it would affect public safety.

A representative for the city of Charlottesville did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for a comment in regard to the lawsuit.

The future of the statue is to be decided by a judge in a ruling expected in the next few weeks.

Auto hits people at Charlottesville rally - several injured