Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Charlottesville on edge on anniversary of deadly white-nationalist rallies

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Jeannette Daniel | 12 August, 2018, 17:42

US President Donald Trump has moved to condemn "all types of racism and acts of violence" one year on from the alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one woman dead.

One person died and several others were injured on August 12 past year when a auto ploughed into counter protesters who had taken to the streets to oppose a Unite the Right rally of white nationalists.

Kessler has denied responsibility for the violence in Charlottesville past year and has said that he had not invited the KKK and other white supremacist groups to the rally there.

He called for the nation to "come together" after a week in which he stoked racial divisions with attacks on black athletes and other minorities.

On Saturday, Trump condemned "all types of racism" in a Twitter post marking the anniversary.

Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of last year's rally is planning another "white civil rights" rally on Sunday.

Shut it down: According to DCist, 22 different organizations, including Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, Black Lives Matter D.C., Maryland Antifa, the D.C. Antifascist Collective, and the Frederick Socialists have teamed up for an event called Shut It Down D.C.

At least two separate anti-white nationalist rallies will also be taking place in Lafayette Park.

More news: Turkey is a 'target of economic war,' Erdogan says

The protestors eventually walked away and no arrests were made.

Officials have declared states of emergency for both the city of Charlottesville and the state of Virginia to help law enforcement mobilize state and local resources for security reasons. Many participants dressed as if they were headed to battle, shouted racist slurs and clashed violently with counter-protesters. "It looked like a war zone a year ago compared to what it is today". "We don't see a riot here", they chanted.

The president of the University of Virginia has offered an apology to the students and community members who faced off a year ago against white supremacists during a march through campus. The conflict culminated in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, when James Alex Fields Jr., whose social media accounts included posts espousing white supremacy, purposely drove his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters. "You know, I'm happy that things didn't get out of hand", said John Mason, an associate professor of history at UVA.

Two Virginia state troopers who were monitoring the rally were later killed in the line of duty when their helicopter crashed.

A report on last year's rally found city and state police weren't able to communicate by radio during the unrest because they didn't properly coordinate ahead of time.

On the eve of last year's rally, torch-toting white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia's campus, shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans.

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. On Saturday night, she was angry at the police response to the student rally.

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