Emergency declared ahead of Charlottesville anniversary

Frederick Owens
August 11, 2018

It comes on the first anniversary of last year's rally, which led to the death of one counter-protester.

What is this protest about?

NBC 12 reports that Jason Kessler, the organizer of the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally, had a permit approved for a rally this Sunday in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks north of the White House.

Other businesses have taken similar approaches and have said they will deny services to attendees of the Unite the Right rally.

Trump equivocating past year. It was set up to protest the city's plan to get rid of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. This from the candidate who said on this very network that he knew nothing about grand wizard David Duke when he was on tape years prior denouncing David Duke specifically, but didn't do so during the campaign.

Fistfights and screaming matches broke out, and the rally officially was called off. The next day, hundreds of white supremacists and counterprotesters clashed in the streets before a auto plowed into a crowd, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer. James Alex Fields Jr., of OH, faces murder charges in Heyer's death.

Members of 40 anti-racism groups plan to protest near Lafayette Square. He also did not mention a white nationalist demonstration planned for Sunday in the capital.

The group said it is "organizing marching bands, drummers, puppets, and vibrant displays of art and culture to show the diversity and power of united communities in the face of right-wing violence".

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Charlottesville, best known for being home to the state university created by Thomas Jefferson, may seem like an unusual choice for a heated battle involving neo-Nazis, but there was a reason that "Unite the Right" organizers chose the town for their rally.

"We are closely monitoring the intelligence that is available to us about who is coming and who is going elsewhere", Brackney said Wednesday. We will not back down. But police and others decided McPherson Square was not good from a security perspective, and the group made a decision to go to Foggy Bottom.

Participants are also asked to "not react with anger to anyone", despite the expectation of counter-protesters.

Due to Virginia state law, the City is unable to prohibit the possession of firearms within the perimeter despite a failed attempt by City Councilors and other officials to add Charlottesville to a list of localities in Virginia which have the legal authority to do so.

The increased police presence is meant to serve as a "deterrent to anyone who would want to come into the community and exercise their First Amendment rights in a way that would violate someone else's First Amendment rights", Brackney said.

Newsham said no guns will be allowed near the rally sites, even if someone has a legal carry permit. Officers will be along that route, but Chief Newsham said that route could change.

There is concern that the anniversary of last year's bad, deadly event will draw a "sizable number of people" in Charlottesville for the weekend "with all sorts of agendas", Ryan expressed.

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