Charlottesville: State of emergency over US far-right rally

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Media captionPolice clash with protesters who are against a far-right march in Charlottesville

Officials in Charlottesville in the US state of Virginia have declared a state of emergency ahead of a large march by white nationalists.

The move allows local authorities to request additional resources if needed, the police department says.

Tensions are high as hundreds of people are expected to join the “Unite the Right” rally against plans to remove a statue of a Confederate general.

Far-right demonstrators and counter-protesters have clashed.

The far-right protesters are angry about the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee from Charlottesville. Lee commanded the pro-slavery Confederate forces in the US Civil War.

On Friday, the group waved torches and chanted “White lives matter” as they marched through the University of Virginia in the city. Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer condemned the march as a “parade of hatred”.

The BBC’s Joel Gunter in Charlottesville reports that police have not yet interrupted clashes between the rival demonstrators, adding that it had been “extremely violent” so far.

Charlottesville has become a focal point for white nationalists after the city council voted to remove a statue of General Lee.

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Media captionFriday’s protesters held torches and chanted ‘you will not replace us’

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