Gardner, other CO politicians decry Charlottesville violence

Three people are dead and many others injured.

After a rash of violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, overnight Friday into Saturday, culminating in numerous brawls and a car ramming into a crowd of people, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was joined by several Colorado politicians in saying the hate had no place in this country.

One person was killed and nineteen were injured after someone drove their vehicle into a crowd during the chaos, which was between white nationalist protesters and other counter protesters.

The "Unite the Right" rally began Friday night and was begun by members of the alt-right, white nationalists and neo-Nazis protesting the removal of a Confederate monument dedicated to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Counter-protesters, including members of Black Lives Matter, showed up and things quickly turned violent.

MORE INFO3 dead, many injured at white nationalist rally in Charlottesville

Police tried to keep the two sides separate but quickly dispersed, allowing for chaos to reign that culminated in the car attack on a group of hundreds of peaceful protesters. Police would return in full riot gear a short while later and the state's National Guard was put on standby.

 Gardner and other Colorado politicians, including U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, took to Twitter to decry the attacks.

Taking it one step further than his colleagues on the Hill, Gardner called out President Donald Trump for failing to "call evil by its name." 

 

 

"Praying for those hurt & killed today in Charlottesville," he also wrote. "This is nothing short of domestic terrorism and should be named as such."

Several hours earlier, prior to the report of the car into the crowd, Gardner also tweeted about the hatred shown had no place in our country.

 

 

Bennet echoed his upper chamber colleague, saying that the events that unfolded in Virginia are contrary to everything we stand for as a country. Bennet also tweeted that Trump should denounce white supremacy and took issue with Trump's phrasing that there was violence "on many sides."

 

 

These tweets come around the same time as Trump took to Twitter to denounce the attacks.

TRUMP'S RESPONSE | President calls for swift restoration of law and order

"We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for," he wrote on his personal Twitter account. "There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let's come together as one!"

In a statement given after the attacks, Trump spoke to the media and decried "violence on many sides."

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," he told the nation. "We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection for each other."

 

 

Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton also released a statement on Twitter, arguing that all Americans have the right to peaceful assembly.

 

 

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in his state after armed militia groups called the rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Declaring the state of emergency gives local first responders more resources to fight the chaos.

"I want to urge my fellow Virginians who may consider joining either in support or opposition to the planned rally to make alternative plans," he said.

White nationalists have continually targeted Charlottesville, and the decision reached in May to remove the statute by city leaders was temporarily stopped by a judge - galvanizing the far right.

Charlottesville is a progressive college town where 80 percent of the voters went for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the previous election.

Far-right and neo-Nazi provocateur Richard Spencer held a rally with several dozen people after the decision was made to remove the statue. In July, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in the city's Justice Park where they were met by thousands of counter-protesters.

This is the latest and by far the most violent far right-led rally in the city.

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This story continues to develop. 9NEWS will update it with more information as it becomes available.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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