Violence in Virginia Prompts Emergency Demonstration in Oakland

Demonstrators in the Bay Area are planning to gather in Oakland on Saturday in response to a violent and deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Bay Area event, which is billed as an emergency solidarity demonstration, is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, according to event organizers.

A flier for the event circulating on social media reads "Charlottesville, We Got Your Back" and "Bay Area United Against White Supremacy."

The event comes just hours after a car smashed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally in the Virginia college town, killing a 32-year-old woman and sending at least two dozen people to the hospital. 

Two Virginia State Police troopers were also killed a short time later when their helicopter crashed near Charlottesville. Officials said the crash was related to the rally.

The deadly incidents stemmed from clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters facing off in the streets, at times swinging fists and unleashing chemical sprays at each other. The group of white nationalists had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee while others arrived to protest the racism.

Later this month, alt-right groups are planning to hold two rallies in Berkeley and San Francisco. Counter-protesters say they will attend the events and "shut them down."

The scheduled rallies come on the heels of violent clashes that cropped up in Berkeley in April.

Some folks from the East Bay city hope extremists on both sides of the political spectrum end the rhetoric that has ignited recent violence.

"The visibility of racists really disturbs me, and the openness of the hate is a problem," Mark Goble said.

Haley Wilt encourages rally attendees to put down their weapons.

"I don't think violence is the correct way to voice your opinion," Haley Wilt said. "I think people need to be more peaceful."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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