White supremacists march through UVA; brawl with protesters

Whatever you thought about 2017 in America if ugliness bigotry and hatred aren't at the center of your thoughts then you should think again

In light of the unrest, city leaders declared a state of emergency, determining "the imminent threat of civil disturbance, unrest, potential injury to persons, and destruction of public and personal property to be of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant coordinated local government action".

Approximately 500 protesters were on-site, with more than double the amount of counterprotesters, according to reporter Sandy Hausman of member station WVTF and Radio IQ.

The Friday night rally was the first to take place this weekend in the city. Protesters claimed they were affected by pepper spray at the rally.

The incident happened about two hours after violent clashes broke out between white nationalists and others who arrived to protest against them.

There were vicious clashes on Market Street in front of Emancipation Park, where the rally was to begin at noon. Mark Warner, a Democrat, told the white nationalists to leave Charlottesville.

Last night, a large group of torch-bearing white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus. The city wants to move his rally to a larger park farther from downtown.

Police have broken up a torch-lit rally at the University of Virginia on Friday.

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The fast-paced march was made up nearly exclusively of men in their 20s and 30s, though there were some who looked to be in their mid-teens.

A smaller group of counter-protesters met the march at Jefferson Statue on campus, circling the monument and linking arms, according to the local Cavalier Daily. It left them floundering and seeking medical assistance. At least eight were injured and one arrested in connection.

White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned "Unite The Right" rally.

Earlier this year city councillors voted to remove the statue and rename the park, which used to be called Lee Park, as part of a wider move across the region to tackle the history of the Confederacy, who fought to maintain slavery in the South.

For now, the Lee statue remains.

UVA canceled all scheduled events planned for Saturday citing "ongoing public safety concerns", but announced that the college's medical center would remain open. The city has also renamed Lee Park, where the statue stands, and Jackson Park, named for Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. A similar rally by Ku Klux Klan that took place in July saw police officers using tear gas on protesters.

"I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here", Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer said on his Twitter feed.

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