State of emergency declared in Charlottesville over white nationalists rally

A state of emergency has been declared in Charlottesvillei n the US state of Virginia ahead of a large march by white nationalists.

They are expected to protest against plans to remove a statue of a
pro-slavery US Civil War general.

Violent clashes erupted between far-right groups and counter-protesters who have also gathered in the city.

Police have fired tear gas against demonstrators and said that arrests had been made after a declaration of unlawful assembly at Emancipation Park.

The far-right protesters are protesting the planned removal of a statue of Gen Robert E Lee from Charlottesville.

Gen Lee commanded the Confederate forces in the US Civil War of 1861-65.

Shiquan Rah, a 21-year-old demonstrator who had joined the counter-protest said about the far-right groups: “These people don’t have a message, their message is hate and violence. This is a spiritual war we’re in.”

BBC’s Joel Gunter in Charlottesville says police have not yet interrupted clashes between the rival demonstrators, adding that it had been “extremely violent” so far.

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