Emergency declared after white nationalist rally in Virginia turns violent

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A counter demonstrator uses a lighted spray can against a white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency after violence broke out Saturday morning between white nationalists and counter-protestors prior to a planned rally in Charlottesville, Va. At least one person was arrested.

According to the Associated Press, “Unite the Right” rally supporters and counter-protesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other hours before a planned march was scheduled to begin.

Police declared the rally an unlawful assembly around 11 a.m., and ordered all protesters to disperse. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in order “to aid state response to violence” at the rally, which was expected to draw up to 6,000 people.

Katie Couric, who is in Charlottesville covering the rally for an upcoming National Geographic series, said that protesters attacked her crew with urine.

Former New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg also said she saw protesters throwing urine on reporters.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler says he planned what he calls a “pro-white” rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park.

Former KKK grand wizard David Duke, an ardent supporter of President Trump, attended the rally and said the gathering was a fulfillment of the president’s vision for America.

“We are determined to take our country back,” Duke said. “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

During the presidential campaign, Trump was initially reluctant to disavow Duke’s support, creating a firestorm of criticism that caused him to finally call Duke “a bad person” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe days later.

“I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK,” Trump said, blaming his apparent reluctance to call out Duke on a “bad earpiece.”

Hours after violence erupted, President Trump condemned “all that hate stands for” in a message shared on Twitter.

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Trump’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, was one of many critics who called out the president for not weighing in on the incident sooner.

Many politicians took to Twitter to denounce the rally, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.), who called the views of white nationalists and white supremacists behind the gathering “repugnant.”

On Friday night, several hundred white nationalists and white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches and chanting, “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!”

This is a breaking news report. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.