US emerges from violent weekend in Charlottesville


Americans have taken to the streets across the country to condemn hatred and racism after the violence in Charlottesville.

Several cities held candlelight vigils and there was also a march to the New York home of US President Donald Trump.

In Seattle, there were arrests and weapons confiscated as Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed.

Hundreds of people gather at an informal memorial where Heather Heyer was killed
A vigil is held in downtown Philadelphia on August 13, 2017 in support of the victims of violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally In Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. Vigils are being held across the country following clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12th. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville
A vigil in Philadelphia in support of the victims of violence in Charlottesville

The rallies come after violence between white supremacists and anti-fascists in the Virginia city of Charlottesville, during a protest by the former group against the city’s decision to remove a Confederate monument.

The protest turned ugly and resulted in three deaths.

Two of those deaths were state troopers who had been monitoring the protests from a helicopter when it crashed.

The third was that of paralegal Heather Heyer, 32, who was killed when a car was allegedly driven into a crowd at the protest. At least 19 others were injured.

Heather Heyer was killed when she was hit by a car as she crossed a street
Heather Heyer was killed when she was hit by a car as she crossed a street

Ms Heyer had been part of a group protesting against the white supremacists and was remembered by her employer Alfred Wilson as someone with a strong sense of social justice.

Mr Wilson said “there have been times that I’ve walked back to her office and she had tears in her eyes” because of the various injustices she saw in the world.

He particularly remembered a time when she wept after reading anti-Muslim comments online.

Ms Heyer was “a very strong, very opinionated young woman” who “made known that she was all about equality,” he added.

Mr Wilson said that, as a white woman, Ms Heyer had said it was unfair that she enjoyed liberties that he, as a black man, could not.

“You’re college-educated, but if you walk into the store you may have people following you, and it’s not fair,” Wilson quoted her as having said to him often.

“She would literally sit in the office and cry at times because she was worried about what was going to happen to the country,” Mr Wilson said.

Rescue workers move victims on stretchers after car plowed through a crowd of counter-demonstrators

What happened in Charlottesville?

:: Donald Trump condemns white supremacists

James Alex Fields Jr, 20, is charged with second-degree murder in relation to Ms Heyer’s death.

Fields has been described by his former teacher Derek Weimer as having a keen interest in Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Mr Weimer said Fields had been singled out in 9th grade for his “deeply-held radical” beliefs regarding race and Nazism.

Meanwhile, the far-right blogger and organiser of the Charlottesville rally Jason Kessler had to be escorted from a news conference by police on Sunday.

Video of the incident showed Mr Kessler running from an angry mob that heckled him as he told them that the “hate that you hear around you, that is anti-white hate that fuelled what happened yesterday”.

A woman tackled him and a man pushed him as other chanted and booed.

He also blamed police for “refusing to do their jobs” at the protest.

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