It’s quite hard to forget about all that happened in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017. But for those who have forgotten or were unaware of all that happened, here’s a simple take on things that rocked violent protests in Charlottesville. While we all choose to ignore the bad times, we must revisit dark stages and remember the moment’s humanity took a whole different turn. So without further ado, here’s what you need to know about the violent protests in Charlottesville.
A “Unite the Right” protest rally in Charlottesville was the initial call for the protests, which soon turned out to be a bloodbath. A 20-year old Ohio man had accelerated his car into the crowd of protests and ended up killing 32-year old Heather Heyer and injuring about 19 others. The images and videos of this horrific incident were not something that the world ignored. It received condemnation from all corners, and people were surprised at all that they saw.
Charlottesville was chosen as the right location for the protests as the state was confused about Gen. Robert E. Lee’s statue, the one who led the Confederate army during the Civil War. Since most of these statues are a reminder of a dark time of racism in the US, cities worldwide wondered what to do with these statues. As a first move, the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the Lee statue and rename the park where it was once located.
But this did not go down well with a group of white nationalists who went ahead and protested the decision in May. Not only did these protests receive massive criticism, but they also were paled in comparison to what was going to unfold in August. The “Unite the Right” rally was kept for Saturday, August 12, and had participants gather in Charlottesville the night before. Apart from that, a group of white nationalists holding lit tiki torches was seen chanting “blood and soil” as they marched through the University of Virginia’s campus.
While the formal rally was set to begin at noon, the first reports between the protests and counter-protestors were reported in the morning. As tensions and security concerns were raised, Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. With violence going on at the location, it was only a matter of time when the world came to know about James Alex Fields ramming his car into the crowd.
Trump’s Confusing Response
While President Donal Trump came forward to condemn the incident, he did not call out the white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that were a part of the protest. However, two days later, he did come forward with a televised statement calling out groups like the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and others.