First Lady Melania Trump urged a halt to violent clashes that broke out Saturday between far-right groups and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va.
“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts,” the first lady tweeted. “No good comes from violence.”
Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 12, 2017
Trump’s call for a de-escalation of violence in the Virginia college town came as the state’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, declared a state of emergency and police ordered protesters gathered in Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park to disperse.
Her husband, President Trump, has not yet commented on the protests, despite calls to do so by some lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“March & rally in Charlottesville against everything the flag stands for. President Trump must condemn in strongest terms immediately,” Schumer wrote on Twitter.
March & rally in Charlottesville against everything the flag stands for. President Trump must condemn in strongest terms immediately.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 12, 2017
White nationalists, white supremacists and alt-right groups were set to hold a demonstration at noon opposing the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
But in the hours before the so-called “Unite the Right” rally was scheduled to take place, groups of opposing protesters clashed on the streets of the downtown Charlottesville.
Police in riot gear responded to the chaos, marching on the scene as some protesters appeared to leave the area.