Virginia governor declares state of emergency during Charlottesville Unite the Right rally

This July 8, 2017 photo shows members of the KKK escorted by police past a large group of protesters during a KKK rally in Charlottesville, Va. Some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederacy tried and failed to do in the 1860s: secession from the Union. So-called Southern nationalists are within the group of demonstrators who are fighting the removal of Confederate monuments around the South. They say it’s time for Southern states to secede again and become independent of the United States.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

His office released the following statement Saturday afternoon:

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement regarding the emergency declaration he authorized this morning:
 
“At 11:28 a.m., the Virginia State Police contacted me to request a state of emergency and I immediately authorized the declaration. We have maintained close contact with the Virginia State Police, the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and other state and local officials on the ground in Charlottesville, and I agree that the situation in Charlottesville warrants an emergency declaration by me, in order to aid City and County law enforcement in their efforts to restore public safety and order in the City of Charlottesville and the surrounding area.  In the days and weeks leading up to this event, my Administration engaged in extensive planning and preparation to ensure that the rally in Charlottesville could be held in a safe and lawful environment. These preparations included the deployment of a large number of state troopers, as well as the Virginia National Guard for support.
 
“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property.  I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours. The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety. 
 
“My entire team will continue to monitor this situation throughout the day, and take appropriate action as necessary.” 
 

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