Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Heavy security as Charlottesville anniversary weekend opens

Heavy security as Charlottesville anniversary weekend opens

Another far-right rally is scheduled for Sunday, right outside the White House.

According to The Washington Post and Associated Press reports, the nighttime protesters mobilized against the police presence, which some described as aggressive and which some compared to last year's white supremacists. On Wednesday, Virginia's governor declared a state of emergency to help coordinate planning and response to the anniversary weekend.

Bro said donations from around the world poured in to her family after Heyer's death, and that led Bro to start the Heather Heyer Foundation, which awards scholarship money to high school and college students.

Nearby, dozens of officers carrying helmets and with gas masks strapped to their belts stood watch in the park where hundreds of white nationalists gathered last summer at a rally planned in part to protest the city's plans to remove a statue of Robert E Lee.

In addition, two police officers died in a helicopter crash while they were monitoring the protests.

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

Maurice Cook, a DC-based organiser and cofounder of the March for Racial Justice group, agreed, telling Al Jazeera that Sunday's counterprotest "is an opportunity for us to come together, recruit and do the structural work that we are charged to do to dismantle the impact of white supremacy in our country". But, he added, "The state police is fully prepared to act on any inciteful violence".

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

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

Charlottesville is bracing for what may come this weekend on the first anniversary of the deadly rally.

Twenty-two-year-old Clara Carlson said Saturday that the university administration "let white supremacists roll through" campus with torches last August, but is "afraid" of student protesters who are demanding change. The state's declaration allocates $2 million in state funds and authorizes the Virginia National Guard to assist in security efforts.

Days after her daughter was killed, Bro said, she was not interested in taking a phone call from President Donald Trump because she believed he made comments equating her daughter to white supremacists. A group of clergy who organize against racism will hold a service of remembrance at the city's First Presbyterian Church on Saturday afternoon. However, Kessler dropped his lawsuit last week and vowed to forge ahead with plans for a "white civil rights" rally Sunday in Washington, D.C.

Some city officials have strongly pushed back against the premise of the event but have allowed it to move forward due to concerns about free speech.

Bro, who was not in Charlottesville past year when her daughter was killed, said she understands why some people are in "high anxiety", particularly people who may have seen the violence and are "still living the trauma of that".

Now, the anniversary today of the Unite the Right rally and counterprotests on August 12, 2017, could test the president's leadership. It has also fueled ongoing public debate over the media's role in covering white supremacists groups.

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