CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The wave of violence incited during a gathering Saturday of white nationalists and counter-protesters led President Donald Trump and other state and national lawmakers to denounce the rally as hateful.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle agreed that such speech, which included racist and anti-Semitic slurs, should be condemned. Some emphasized that while they support freedom of speech and assembly, they do not condone the violence and racism seen in Charlottesville.
House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted the views expressed in the city were “repugnant” and “vile bigotry.”
At least one person was arrested and eight injured in the clashes, which included a car plowing into a group of marchers as they walked through the streets.
The “Unite the Right” rally, which was organized by members of the so-called alt-right, were supposed to be protesting the planned removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park.
State police and members of the Virginia National Guard surrounded the park after Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency before the noon start time and city officials declared the rally an unlawful assembly. That effectively ended the rally’s start, and Emancipation Park remained empty.
David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, responded to Trump in a series of tweets to remind him “who put you in the presidency.”
Richard Spencer, who attended the “Unite the Right” march, also argued on Twitter that white supremacists were not at fault.
Marianna Sotomayor reported from Charlottesville, and Ariana Brockington reported from New York.