"I urge all people of good will - go home", said Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer. They gathered in Richmond, Virginia to protest at the proposed removal of monuments harking back to the Confederacy - a group which opposed the abolition of slavery and sparked the USA civil war.
Before the rally could even begin, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and other far-right figures began brawling with large numbers of anti-racism protesters in the streets of the college town.
He was charged with second-degree murder, a felony; three counts of malicious wounding; and one count related to leaving the scene. But my message is clear: "We are stronger than you".
President Donald Trump, speaking midafternoon from New Jersey, condemned "the egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" in Charlottesville. "You are not wanted in this great commonwealth".
"White supremacists chanting Nazi slogans aren't Virginia or America, " Beyer said.
He did not answer questions from reporters after signing the bill, such as a reporter's request for an explanation of what Trump meant by "many sides".
"He ran this campaign on white supremacy and xenophobic nationalism so of course these people will be running through the streets hitting protesters over the head with bats and ramming cars into them because they have been emboldened by this president".
Police in Charlottesville said they had arrested James Alex Fields over the death of a 32-year-old woman who was demonstrating against white nationalists who were protesting plans to remove the statue of a Confederate general on Saturday. "You're talking about people who are saying that hate's not okay, kindness matters, and then they get killed for it", Detwiler said.
At least one counter-protest had already mobilized on Saturday night when demonstrators in Oakland, California blocked a freeway and set off fireworks in response to Charlottesville. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama.
But some of the white nationalists cited Trump's victory as validation for their beliefs, and Trump's critics pointed to the president's racially tinged rhetoric as exploiting the nation's festering racial tension.