3 dead, dozens injured in violent white nationalist rally

A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. (The Daily Progress via AP photo)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va: A car rammed into a crowd of protesters and a state police helicopter crashed into the woods Saturday as tension boiled over at a white supremacist rally. The violent day left three dead, dozens injured and this usually quiet college town a bloodied symbol of the nation's roiling racial and political divisions.

The chaos erupted around what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade _ including neo-Nazis, skinheads, members of the Ku Klux Klan _ who descended on the city to "take America back'' by rallying against plans to remove a Confederate statue.

Hundreds came to protest against the racism. There were street brawls and violent clashes; the governor declared a state of emergency, police in riot gear ordered people out and helicopters circled overhead.

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