RAW: Charlottesville rally turns violent

Posted at 11:59 AM, Aug 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-12 11:59:16-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (CNN) - Two people were injured at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, Saturday morning.

An altercation broke out during the "Unite the Right" rally. The injuries are described as serious, but non-life-threatening.

Police declared the outbreak of violence represented an unlawful assembly and told the crowds to disperse.

Thousands of people are expected to take part in the protest against the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes it as "the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades."

The city has become ground zero for white nationalist and other protesters, who faces larger counter-rallies in the past.

About 1,000 law enforcement officers and first responders are keeping an eye on the event.

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