CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (CNN/RNN) - Several people were injured at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, Saturday morning.
An altercation broke out during the "Unite the Right" rally. The injuries are described as serious, but non-life-threatening.
Police declared the outbreak of violence represented an unlawful assembly and told the crowds to disperse. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the violence "unacceptable" and declared a state of emergency and the National Guard aided in policing the event.
Below is the Governor's statement regarding the emergency declaration he authorized this morning: pic.twitter.com/yS1E9mispG— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) August 12, 2017
Thousands of people are expected to take part in the protest against the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Shortly following the violence, the area surrounding the statue was cleared by law enforcement.
Demonstrators are still staging rallies around the city, and reports say a car crashed into a group of protesters.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes it as "the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades."
The city has become ground zero for white nationalist and other protesters, who faces larger counter-rallies in the past.
About 1,000 law enforcement officers and first responders are keeping an eye on the event.
First lady Melania Trump tweeted "let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence."
President Donald Trump tweeted "There is no place for this kind of violence in America."
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
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