The U.S. state of Illinois has officially passed a resolution calling for neo-Nazi groups to be classed by police as terrorist organisations.
In the wake of violent clashes between far-right groups and counter-protesters during a rally in Charlottesville on Saturday, the Illinois Senate approved the anti-hate group resolution.
The clashes saw the death of 32-year-old anti-racism campaigner Heather D Heyer and 19 other people injured as one white nationalist member drove a car into protesters.
The measure, which was passed on Sunday, states that neo-Nazism and white nationalism pose dangerous threats to society.
It also argued that ever accelerating far-right extremism is attempting to promote hate and divide America.
State Senator Don Harmon, the sponsor of the measure, said in a statement on Facebook:
I introduced a resolution in the Senate today condemning the inexcusable acts of violence committed by white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville this weekend.
It is vital that we stand in total opposition to the hatred, bigotry and violence displayed by these groups. They are the heirs to the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis.
We fought two bloody wars in opposition to their ideologies. We must continue to fight those same twisted ideologies today.
Diversity has always and will always make America stronger and better. We condemn these groups and their actions, as they are the opposite of what our country strives to be.
The Senate plan to send copies of the measure to U.S. President Donald Trump as well as members of the Congress and current Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner.
The Republican had been subject to much criticism from Democrats after he dragged his heels in labelling the death of Heyer as domestic terrorism.
After saying ‘what doesn’t matter is definitions’, Rauner eventually performed a U-turn, stating:
The deadly violence in Charlottesville this weekend is abhorrent and absolutely an act of domestic terrorism.
20-year-old white nationalist James Fields is currently being held in a Virginia jail in connection with the deadly crash.
He was arrested on Saturday and has reportedly been charged with second-degree murder among other criminal counts.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.