The president of the United States, the first lady and the vice president have all responded to the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia after violent clashes broke out between “Unite the Right” white nationalist demonstrators and “Antifa” counterprotesers on Saturday.
“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!” President Donald Trump tweeted.
“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence,” first lady Melania Trump tweeted, using the #Charlottesville hashtag.
Pence retweeted the first lady’s tweet.
Gov. Terry McAullife declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m. ET, moments before the rally was scheduled to begin at noon at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, according to a tweet sent from the Democratic governor’s Twitter account.
Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neoNazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
Those protesters were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists, and Princeton professor Cornel West.
Both the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County have declared a local state of emergency, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.