Angela Merkel says Charlottesville far-right violence is 'absolutely repulsive'

German Chancellor says she stands with peaceful counter-protesters

Jon Stone
Europe Correspondent
Monday 14 August 2017 13:54
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Angela Merkel condemned the violence through a spokesperson
Angela Merkel condemned the violence through a spokesperson

The German chancellor has condemned far-right white supremacist violence that took place in the US state of Virginia over the weekend as “absolutely repulsive”.

Angela Merkel’s comments come after a weekend of clashes between racist protesters and counter-demonstrators in the city of Charlottesville – which left one woman dead and 19 injured.

Donald Trump came under fire from members of his own Republican party for failing to fully condemn the white supremacists, instead initially criticising violence “on many sides” in a tweet.

Speaking on Monday a spokesperson for Ms Merkel told journalists: “The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive – naked racism, antisemitism and hate in their most evil form were on display.

“Such images and chants are disgusting wherever they may be and they are diametrically opposed to the political goals of the Chancellor and the entire German government.”

The spokesperson added that Ms Merkel supported “those who peacefully oppose such aggressive, far-right views”.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed after a far right activist allegedly drove a car into a group of counter-protesters. Pictures from the scene show the force of the crash throwing people into the air. Two police officers also died when their helicopter, which was monitoring the march, crashed.

Donald Trump has been coy to condemn the Nazi protesters directly 

The White House has said that Mr Trump was condemning “all extremist groups” including white supremacists but the President has yet to comment on them himself.

A spokesperson for Theresa May has said the British government “stands with the US against racism, hatred and violence”.

The far-right rally in Charlottesville was called in opposition to the removal of monuments commemorating Confederate leaders – the side in the US civil war that fought to defend slavery.

The city has since however become a wider flashpoint for far-right violence and intimidation, with a vigil in memory of the late Ms Heyer having to be cancelled due to a “credible threat” against it.

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