Tense scenes at Charlottesville vigils marking deadly white supremacist rally

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 12, 2018

President Donald Trump on Saturday was critical of racism in a tweet acknowledging the anniversary of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned deadly a year ago.

The city is expecting large crowds to honor Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old killed when a auto rammed into a packed street of counter-protesters in downtown Charlottesville on August 12 2017.

It was a dramatic shift in tone from previous year, when he said there was "blame on both sides" for the violence that broke out when white nationalists descended on Charlottesville to protest the removal of Confederate statutes and marched through town shouting racist slurs.

"The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division", the president tweeted.

"I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence", Trump wrote. "Peace to ALL Americans!" he tweeted.

This follows a wave of white nationalist events across the country so far this month, including one in Portland and one in Berkeley.

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) commemorated Heather Heyer, the woman killed protesting the rally, and two state troopers killed when their helicopter crashed during the law enforcement response to the violence.

Charlottesville is some 187 kilometers from Washington, but officials and opponents of the white nationalist rally fear some protesters may travel to Washington or parts of nearby Northern Virginia.

Another far right rally is scheduled to take place this Sunday in close proximity to the White House.

"People are welcome into the community, people are invited into the community", she said.

What resulted was hundreds of violent clashes between white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK members armed with flaming torches and counter protesters.

Authorities eventually forced the crowd to disperse, but a auto later barreled into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Activists in Charlottesville plan a rally against hate on Saturday, and numerous same alt-right groups that appeared in last year's "Unite the Right" rally are planning a sequel in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. It didn't make sense a year ago, and it doesn't make sense now.

Ryan recalled how a group of students and community members faced off against the white supremacists near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on campus, calling it a "remarkable moment of courage and bravery".

Black Lives Matter also have a permit for counter-protests.

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

Earlier this week, Governor Ralph Northam and the City of Charlottesville declared states of emergency for the city and the Commonwealth as a whole.

"The group is by and large a lot younger than me and very diverse in many ways, not just demographics but also political orientations and approach to protest", Lance said.

But others said Saturday they were comforted by the security measures.

Charlottesville this year denied organizer Jason Kessler a permit for a rally there, but he received final approval Thursday from the National Park Service for up to 400 participants at Lafayette Square for an event dubbed "Unite the Right 2".

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