Heather Heyer: Tributes paid to activist, 32, killed in Charlottesville violence

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Tributes have been paid to a young woman who was killed when a car ploughed into counter-protesters amid violent clashes at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in the US state of Virginia.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant at a law firm in the state, died after the vehicle rammed a crowd of activists who were staging a counter-protest to the far-right rally in the city on Saturday.

Ms Heyer, who worked for Miller Law, had repeatedly championed civil rights issues on social media and her Facebook cover read: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

A childhood friend, Felicia Correa, has launched a crowdfunding page to raise money for her family. Well-wishers donated more than $145,000 (£112,000) in the 24 hours after her death.

Many of those who donated posted tributes describing Ms Heyer as a “hero”.

Violent scenes: A woman receives first-aid after a car ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville (AFP/Getty Images)

A statement from Ms Heyer’s mother on the GoFundMe page read: “She died doing what was right. My heart is broken but I am forever proud of her.”

Sheryl Hodge wrote: “We are so sad and outraged. We will not let Heather go in vain.”

While George Christos said: “Very said that our country continues to see this hatred and that a young life was lost as a result.”

Friends were organising a candlelit vigil for Ms Heyer, who came from Greene County, one of the smallest counties in Virginia, on Sunday night.  

Violence: Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters (AP)

She attended the William Monroe high school and kept in touch with her alumni from the class of 2003. 

One of her last public Facebook posts was a link to a sight urging those fearful of Muslims to meet and befriend one. Since her death, hundreds of people have added comments to it, expressing admiration and sending their condolences to her family.

Two police officers also died on Saturday when the helicopter they were using to monitor the far-right rally crashed just outside of Charlottesville.

Police identified the victims as pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40. Both men died at the scene.

Kileld: Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, left, and Lt. H. Jay Cullen (AP)

Thirty-four other people were injured when the car ploughed into the group of counter-protesters, who were marching peacefully.

James Alex Fields Jr has been charged with murder after he allegedly ploughed a car into the crowd of counter-protesters.

Charlottesville: President Donald Trump condemned the violence (AP)

The “Unite the Right” rally was being staged against plans to remove a statue of a pro-slavery US Civil War general in Charlottesville.

President Trump has been criticised for failing to explicitly condemn the role of white supremacists in the clashes with counter-protesters.

Speaking from his golf club in New Jersey, he said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”

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