Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

What could happen on the Charlottesville protest anniversary this weekend

What could happen on the Charlottesville protest anniversary this weekend

Trump's words contrast sharply with his first public comments on the events last summer, which left 32-year-old anti-racist counterprotester Heather Heyer dead after a suspected white nationalist plowed his auto into a crowd on August 12, 2017.

The remarks swayed from his comments after last year's "Unite the Right" rally in the city, which led to violence and several deaths, when Neo-Nazi sympathizers and counterprotesters clashed during demonstrations.

"I am urging Virginians to make alternative plans to engaging with planned demonstrations of hate, should those arise", said Northam.

Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, who's spent much of the past year working with Wilson on a foundation named for her daughter, said she plans to place flowers Sunday at the site of the attack that claimed Heyer's life.

Kessler has been promoting this year's event on various social media platforms and blames the city of Charlottesville for violence during last year's rally, when armed neo-Nazis descended on the normally tranquil southern town. States of emergency have already been declared for both Charlottesville and the Commonwealth of Virginia ahead of this weekend's rally, about 115 miles away in the nation's capital. Jason Kessler has vowed to press ahead with plans for an August 12 rally in Washington, D.C., after Charlottesville denied him a permit.

Many business owners have said the plan is too restrictive and will cost them significant revenue on what would normally be a busy summer weekend.

Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle said more than 700 state police will be activated during the weekend and that they are "fully prepared to act" to prevent any incidents like previous year.

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Images of neo-Nazis marching in the streets and violent clashes between alt-right protesters and counterprotesters in Charlottesville previous year are still fresh in many residents' minds. "The proposed demonstration or special event will present a danger to public safety, and can not be accommodated within the area applied for, or within a reasonable allocation of City funds and/or police resources", City Manager Maurice Jones wrote in the denial.

The 2017 Charlottesville rally, which drew white supremacists and neo-Nazis, was originally meant to protest the planned removal of a statue depicting Confederate General Robert E. Lee that still stands.

The "Unite the Right" rally is scheduled for Sunday in Lafayette Park, just across from the White House.

- Airbnb has threatened to cancel the accounts of anyone renting from them who participates in the Unite the Right rally in the District this weekend. In July 2017, members of a Ku Klux Klan chapter and counter-protesters gathered at a park for a "loud and angry", but nonviolent protest.

DC Police Chief Peter Newsham spoke at a news conference Thursday where he said the DC and U.S. Park Police would be in full force.

The images of people carrying torches and shouting racist slogans as they marched shocked the city, the country and the world.

The mother of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was hit by a vehicle and killed last year, has also spoken publicly leading up to the anniversary. The man accused of killing Heyer faces murder and hate crime charges.

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