Charlottesville: Race and Terror – VICE News Tonight on HBO
The Unite the Right rally (also known as the Charlottesville rally) was a protest conducted by far-right groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States from August 11–12, 2017, to oppose the removal of the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture in the city. The protesters included white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, and militias.
The event turned violent after protesters clashed with counterprotesters. On the morning of August 12, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency stating that public safety could not be safeguarded without additional powers. Within an hour, the Virginia State Police declared the assembly to be unlawful. Two hours later, a man rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one person and injuring 19. United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions denounced the act as domestic terrorism and started a civil rights investigation to determine if it will be tried in court as a hate crime. An additional nineteen people were injured in street brawls and other violent acts at the rally. Two state troopers died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the event.
In his initial statement on the rally, U.S. President Donald Trump did not denounce white nationalists by name and said there was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides”. His statement and subsequent defenses of the statement have been widely criticized.