Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke out Saturday on the events in Charlottesville, Va., where at least one person was killed after violence broke out at a white nationalist rally in the normally quiet college town.
“The shocking violence in Charlottesville — and the abhorrent ideology behind it — have no place in America or anywhere in the world. Angelenos and people everywhere condemn these acts of hatred, and are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries suffered today. We stand with (Charlottesville) Mayor (Mike) Signer and everyone in his city with hope and prayers for peace to be restored,” Garcetti said.
Earlier Saturday, California’s senior Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein, weighed in on the violence.
“Violent acts of hate and bigotry have no place in America. The attacks we are witnessing in Charlottesville are completely unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue,” Feinstein said. “Violence like this will solve nothing and will only beget more violence and sow more division.”
Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally featured thousands of demonstrators from different organizations, including neo-Nazis and KKK groups, and was prompted in part by the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville.
Violence broke out between the white nationalists and a smaller number of counterprotesters, some holding “Black Lives Matter” signs. TV news footage showed many of the white nationalists were armed with guns, shields and even pepper spray.
A short time after police cleared the protest area, a car plowed into a crowd of people, killing at least one person and injuring 19, officials said. That was also captured on video, which appeared to show that the driver acted intentionally. Police later said they took the suspected driver into custody.
President Trump condemned the violence at a public event Saturday.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides,” Trump said. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.
“It has no place in America. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.”
However, Trump immediately drew criticism from politicians and media commentators over his reference to “many sides” as apparently equating violent racist actions by the Neo-Nazis, KKK and other white nationalists with protesters.
The leaders of All Saints Church in Pasadena announced a special prayer vigil Saturday evening to proclaim “solidarity against white supremacy.” The gathering will be held at 7 p.m. on the church’s lawn at 132 N. Euclid Ave.
—City News Service
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