First Lady Melania Trump has condemned the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia as white nationalists waving Nazi flags clashed with counter-protesters Saturday.
‘Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts,’ she tweeted. ‘No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville.’
Violence erupted ahead of a planned rally where thousands of white nationalists were expected to gather for an alt-right protest.
Two people were seriously injured in the clash, Virginia State police reported.
The First Lady condemned the violence in Charlottesville as white nationalists and counter-protesters marched
A video appears to show the altercation – a man can be seen being dragged away by officials while a woman screams: ‘Don’t allow them to do this!’
Another woman with blood streaming down her face pushes the man away from the scene of the fight.
The Unite the Right rally was being held at Emancipation Park and hundreds were seen stomping through the city, wearing militia uniforms, waving flags and chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ as they made their way towards the event.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer denounced the ‘cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of Rights’ and warned for residents to stay away from the rally.
While Melania has commented on the situation, Trump has remained quiet on social media on Saturday (pictured together on Saturday)
Still, counter-protesters flocked to the march in retaliation against the white nationalists neo-Confederates, and alt-right activists, screaming: ‘We’re here, we’re gay, we fight the KKK!’
The protest hadn’t officially started but social media videos showed the rally was escalating – people were seen throwing objects, breaking into fights and pepper spray being used, as officers watched from behind fences.
The violence forced the city to declare a local emergency and determined the event was an unlawful assembly. Tear gas bombs to clear the unruly crowd.
Arrests were made after police in riot gear attempted to clear the park and a group of protesters pushed back against them. However, the battle between the two opposing groups continued to rage in the streets of the city.