Heavy security marks Charlottesville protests anniversary

Heavy security marks Charlottesville protests anniversary

Students and activists are rallying Saturday evening at the University of Virginia's campus in Charlottesville to mark the one-year anniversary of the Virginia White Nationalist Rally.

Saturday's events in Charlottesville precede a planned "white civil rights" rally set for Sunday in Washington, D.C. The demonstration was planned by Jason Kessler, who also organized last year's rally.

"The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division", he stated.

"We must come together as a nation", Trump wrote on Twitter from his golf club in New Jersey. Police at last year's event were criticized for being caught off guard by the violence, failing to keep feuding groups apart and not reacting quickly enough as fights broke out.

President Trump urges peace for all Americans one year after the deadly incidents in Charlottesville.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Peter Cvjetanovic, right, appears with neo-Nazis, alt-right supporters and white nationalists holding tiki torches and chanting at counterprotesters in Virginia on August 11, 2017. "Unless there is something they're not telling us and have some intelligence that the white nationalists will still march in force, it seems like who they're gearing up to monitor and observe and contain and discipline are those of us who want to resist fascism and racism".

Washington police chief Peter Newsham said firearms will be prohibited at the rallies, even for gun owners with legal licenses.

Saturday marked the anniversary of a night march by torch-toting white supremacists through the University of Virginia's campus a day ahead of a larger rally in Charlottesville's downtown.

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"What about the "alt-left" that came charging at, as you say, the 'alt-right, ' do they have any semblance of guilt?"

Participants wielded torches, chanted white nationalist slogans and eventually engaged in fighting with anti-fascist counter-protestors.

Authorities eventually forced the crowd to disperse, but a vehicle later barreled into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Two state troopers also died that day in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville. The National Park Service (NPS) has granted official permits to multiple counter-protests in Washington D.C.

The security measures alarmed activists but reassured others who said they have painful memories of last year's chaos. "This year they come with badges".

"I'm not looking forward to what that's going to look like this weekend", she said. Also expected are members of Black Lives Matter, Shut It Down D.C. and other groups protesting a variety of topics, including immigration policies.

Carlson said police didn't intervene to help her or her friends that night previous year.

Attendees of "Unite the Right 2", a follow-up to the controversial far-right protest past year, have been told to bring Confederate flags, wear body cameras and expect to be provoked.

Kessler, a Charlottesville resident and University of Virginia graduate, sued Charlottesville after city officials denied him a permit for an anniversary event, according to the Associated Press.

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