Tens of thousands raised for Charlottesville victim

A man rammed a car into anti-racist protesters in US state of Virginia, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

    Locals attend a vigil for Heather Heyer, who was killed in a car-ramming attack in Virginia [Jim Bourg/Reuters]
    Locals attend a vigil for Heather Heyer, who was killed in a car-ramming attack in Virginia [Jim Bourg/Reuters]

    A fundraising campaign for the family of a woman killed in a car-ramming attack in the US town of Charlottesville has raised tens of thousands of dollars.

    Heather Heyer died on Saturday when a man drove a Dodge Challenger into a crowd of people protesting against a white supremacist rally taking place in the small town located in the US state of Virginia.

    The suspect, James Alex Fields Jr, 20, a resident of the state of Ohio, was arrested shortly after the incident and is in custody.

    James Alex Fields Jr seen in a police mugshot after his arrest [Reuters]

    On his Facebook page, Fields posted images associated with the alt-right, such as the Pepe the Frog meme, and a photo of Adolf Hitler as a baby.

    Images shared on Twitter also showed him attending a rally by the far-right Vanguard America group, which later denied Fields was a member.

    Police have charged him with one count of second-degree murder and three counts of malicious wounding.

    READ MORE: Unite the Right - white supremacists rally in Virginia

    The FBI has also announced its own investigation into the incident.

    Several others were wounded with severity ranging from life threatening to minor injuries, according to officials.

    Heyer was named on social media and a GoFundMe page set up by a school friend had picked up more than $28,000 in donations at the time of publication. 

    "Heather Heyer was murdered while protesting against hate," wrote Felicia Correa.

    "We are raising money to give to her family for anything that they may need. She is a Greene County native and Graduated from William Monroe High School. She will truly be missed," she added.

    Many on Facebook and Twitter shared Heyer's Facebook banner picture, which featured the quote: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

    Confederate statue

    Charlottesville has become a focal point of the resurgent white supremacist movement in the United States after officials there voted to take down a statue of the Confederate General Robert E Lee.

    The Unite the Right rally brought together a number of far-right and white supremacist groups, including National Socialist Movement, the neo-Confederate League of the South and Identity Evropa.

    READ MORE: What is the alt-right and what does it stand for?

    Also in attendance on Saturday were white nationalist ideologues such as Richard Spencer, David Duke, and Mike Peinovich.

    US President Donald Trump has been widely criticised for not condemning white supremacism directly in the aftermath of Saturday's events. 

    The US has seen an upturn in far-right attacks since Trump's election, which critics blame the president for stoking or ignoring.

    In May, two men were stabbed to death in Portland, Oregon, when they stood up for two Muslims girls who were being abused by a white supremacist.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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