Lorde slams 'horrific' treatment of people of colour in US after car slams into anti-racism protesters

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1 NEWS | Associated Press

Lorde has taken to Twitter with outrage after a car rammed into a crowd of protesters as tension boiled over at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A state police helicopter also crashed into the woods in a violent day left three dead, dozens injured and the usually quiet college town a bloodied symbol of the United States' roiling racial and political divisions.

The chaos erupted around what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade - including neo-Nazis, skinheads, members of the Ku Klux Klan - who descended on the city to "take America back" by rallying against plans to remove a Confederate statue. 

Hundreds came to protest against the racism. There were street brawls and violent clashes; the governor declared a state of emergency, police in riot gear ordered people out and helicopters circled overhead.

The Kiwi songstress tweeted: "being a privileged white non-US citizen, i feel like tweeting to reinforce how horrific POC treatment here is is unnecessary & inappropriate."

She posted: "just want to say i'm so, so sorry. all white people are responsible for this system's thrive and fall. we have to do better. i'm sorry."

The biggest names in music gathered in Las Vegas, including New Zealand's own songbird.

Source: 1 NEWS

Peaceful protesters were marching downtown, carrying signs that read "black lives matter" and "love." 

A silver Dodge Challenger suddenly came barreling through "a sea of people" and smashed into another car, said Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student.

The impact hurled people into the air and blew off their shoes. A 32-year-old woman was killed as she crossed the street.

Those left standing scattered, screaming and running for safety. Video caught the car reversing, hitting more people, its windshield splintered from the collision and bumper dragging on the pavement. Medics carried the injured, bloodied and crying, away as a police tank rolled down the street.

The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old who recently moved to Ohio from where he grew up in Kentucky, was charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

Some of the white nationalists at the rally cited President Donald Trump's victory after a campaign of racially-charged rhetoric as validation for their beliefs.

Trump criticised the violence in a tweet, followed by a press conference and a call for "a swift restoration of law and order."

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," he said.

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