State of emergency declared right before white supremacist rally was scheduled to begin

Following last night’s torch-lit Nazi rally at the University of Virginia, the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday unsurprisingly turned into a series of brawls and melees before the rally itself even began. While the official march to Emancipation Park was scheduled for noon, protesters, counterprotesters, and armed militia started gathering hours earlier. By the time the march was scheduled to start, a state of emergency had been declared and police were clearing people out of the park.

What could go wrong?

Oh, right. Literally exactly what everyone knew would happen. Punches were thrown and pepper spray was deployed. Thank god there were concerned citizens walking around with rifles. There’s no possible way this could have escalated into something truly horrific.

Less than 10 minutes before the march was supposed to begin, a state of emergency was declared and the police started clearing everybody out.

Fearing that too many people would show up for the march, the city of Charlottsville tried to get the rally moved to another location larger than Emancipation Park. The ACLU sued the city on behalf of the organizers, and a judge ruled they were allowed to go ahead with the rally at the original location.

Bang up job, all around.

[Screen shot via Craig Stanley]