A rally called Unite The Right took place in Charlottesville, Virginia between August 11 to 12, 2017. The protestors opposed the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park. Two months before the rally, the park was renamed from Lee Park to Emancipation Park by City Council. Most of the protestors were white supremacists, white nationalists, neo Confederates, and neo Nazis. Some militias were present.
There has been much controversy leading up to this event including the removal of Confederate monuments around the country in response to the Charleston, South Carolina shooting in 2015. Many counter protestors showed up to oppose the rally. Various individuals and groups clashed, leading to at least 14 injured. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency on the morning of August 12, 2017. The assembly was declared unlawful by the Virginia State Police within the hour.
On August 12, 2017, at around 1:45 pm, James Alex Fields, Jr, rammed his car into a crowd of counter protestors who were occupying an alley. One person was killed and 19 were injured. Fields was earlier photographed marching with the white supremacist group Vanguard America. There is debate to determine if president Trump and governor McAuliffe appropriately addressed the situation.