'White nationalist terrorism' - car plows protesters at rally

Warning: This video contains graphic images which may disturb some people.

The alleged driver of a car which ploughed into anti-racism demonstraters in Charlottesville has been named. 

He is James Alex Fields, 20, of Ohio.

Several people have life-threatening injuries and one person has been killed after a vehicle plowed into a group of protesters following a day of violence between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville.

A state official says the driver of the car is in police custody.

Witnesses say the incident was a terror attack, and now senators are joining the chorus of voices calling on President Donald Trump to condemn the incident as an act of terrorism by white supremicists.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner tweeted, "Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism."

At a press conference, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said he had a clear message for white supremicists and Nazis: "Go home. You are not wanted."

"Our diversity - that mosaic tile of immigrants is what makes us so special, and we will not let anybody come here and destroy that. So please, go home and never come back."

Authorities report 19 injuries, some life-threatening.

A victim is removed on a stretcher.
A victim is removed on a stretcher. Photo credit: Getty
A victim is treated.
A victim is treated. Photo credit: Getty

Videos show a car moving at speed toward a crowd of counter-protesters who were chanting as they marched along the road. The car rear-ends two vehicles that were moving slowly through the protesters, before reversing out of the crowd at speed. People are heard screaming and swearing.

A car moves at speed into a group of protesters.
A car moves at speed into a group of protesters. Photo credit: Screengrab/Facebook
A car reverses at speed out of a group of protesters.
A car reverses at speed out of a group of protesters. Photo credit: Screengrab/Facebook

A witness told Washington Post he saw a car rear-end another vehicle then plow through pedestrians as it reversed.

White nationalists at a rally in Virginia.
White nationalists at a rally in Virginia. Photo credit: Reuters
A white nationalist holds his shield.
A white nationalist holds his shield. Photo credit: Reuters

Reports from journalists on the ground say there is no proof yet as to whether the car intentionally hit counter protesters, but several hours before the car rammed protesters, a stark warning was tweeted out by a counter-protester.

"I fear for people of color in Cville today now that demo has broken up. These s*** stains clearly came for violence. Be careful," Brennan Gilmore tweeted.

"I fear for people of color in Cville today".
"I fear for people of color in Cville today". Photo credit: Twitter

Mr Gilmore would later film a widely-shared video of the fatal ramming of protesters.

Prior to the incident, a state of emergency was declared in Charlottesville after white supremicists joined by their own militia clashed with counter-protesters through Saturday (local time).

The violence began on Friday night, when white nationalists gathered for a "Unite the Right" rally. As night fell, they lit torches and formed a circle around counter-protesters.

White nationalists surround a group of counter-protesters.
White nationalists surround a group of counter-protesters. Photo credit: Reuters
White nationalist surrounding counter-protesters.
White nationalist surrounding counter-protesters. Photo credit: Reuters

Organisers say the demonstration was the largest gathering of white nationalists in recent years.

Violence escalated on Saturday morning, with scenes so chaotic police were forced to retreat.

The crowd of white nationalists chanted Nazi slogans and waved Confederate flags as hundreds of counter-protesters turned up, attempting to drown out the slogans with their own chants.

Trump condemns violence 'on many sides'

President Donald Trump faced criticism for remaining silent until Saturday afternoon, when he tweeted: "We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!"

At a media conference after the fatal ramming, Mr Trump said he condemns violence "on many sides" and said no child should be afraid to play outside.

"We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides - on many sides.

"It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time. There is no place in America.

"What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society, and no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time."

Newshub.

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