The fundamental issue surrounding the pro- and anti-Confederate Statues is philosophical. Donald Trump’s response was wrong on several counts, including his moral equivocation of “both sides”—the pro- and anti-Confederates—and of Founding heroes George Washington and Thomas Jefferson with Confederate reactionaries Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
But he was right on the issue of violence. In a New Jersey Star-Ledger column (Charlottesville: Reporters should leave the opinion writing to us pundits), Paul Mulshine observed,
An account of the events that day [in Charlottesville] by reporters for the Hill began "Clashes between 'alt-right' white nationalists and counter-protesters turned this Virginia college town into a battlefield on Saturday..."
The article then detailed violent attacks by both sides, including one in which the counter-protesters attacked an SUV full of alt-righters who were trying to leave the area. (Read it here; note that this is a thoroughly objective article that was written before the pack-journalism effect kicked in; note also that from this account both sides did indeed initiate violence.) [My emphasis]
You can read Mulshine’s whole article here. Again, the fundamental issue was not the violence. It was the clash between Confederate white supremacy and the political equality of unalienable individual rights embodied in the Declaration of Independence. But violence is an important issue. Freedom of expression never justifies the initiation of physical force, no matter how strong the feelings or controversial the issue. In this regard, Leftists “antifa” fascists were (and are) at least as guilty as the so-called “alt-Right,” as Trump said.