Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Heavy security as Charlottesville anniversary weekend opens

Heavy security as Charlottesville anniversary weekend opens

Saturday morning UVA President James Ryan spoke at an event reflecting on the university's response to last year's violence.

"We must come together as a nation", Trump wrote on Twitter from his golf club in New Jersey. 'I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence.

32-year-old Heather Heyer attended the first ever Unite the Right event in Charlottesville, Virginia last August to counterprotest, when a vehicle, driven by a white supremacist, rammed into the crowd, injuring dozens and killing Heyer. And two Virginia state troopers died when their surveillance helicopter crashed near the protests.

A student rally has been planned this weekend in Charlottesville to reclaim the campus square where the white supremacists marched a year ago wielding tiki torches.

As clashes broke out, a man in Charlottesville from the Unite the Right side plowed a vehicle through a group of counterprotesters, leaving 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead and dozens others injured.

Hours before white nationalists were expected to begin their rally, hundreds of counter-protesters filled Lafayette Square and Freedom Plaza in Washington to offer their own message against racism and white supremacy.

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Jason Kessler, who abandoned his bid to stage a similar anniversary event in Charlottesville, said in his permit application that he expects 100 to 400 people to participate in his event Sunday afternoon in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House.

President Trump marked the first anniversary of deadly racial violence in Charlottesville, on Saturday with an appeal to peace and national unity.

The violence culminated with a man driving a vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 people.

"It's nice that they're here to protect us", said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at a shop that sells artwork, jewelry, and other items.

"One year ago in Charlottesville, we witnessed an ugly display of hatred, racism, bigotry & violence", Ivanka Trump tweeted. For example, the Shut It Down D.C. Coalition is producing a "Still Here, Still Strong" rally to counter "Unite the Right 2" starting at noon Sunday.

Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer, said police are mounting a "huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year's inaction".

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Exactly one year after the original rally, "Unite the Right 2"-titled like a bad Hollywood sequel-will be held in a park near the White House".

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

Sean Kratouil, a 17-year-old who lives in Maryland, was wearing a vest with "Antifa" on the back and said he was there to help start a movement of peaceful anti-fascists.

Counterprotesters also gathered near the Washington suburban metro station of Vienna, Virginia, where about 20 white nationalists carrying American flags were escorted by police as they prepared to board trains to the city.

"As the nation's capital, we host millions of visitors each year", said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, in a statement.

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