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Maryland, DC Prepare For Unite The Right Rally

Maryland, DC Prepare For Unite The Right Rally

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. That's what happened previous year at the original "Unite the Right" rally and at a July 2017 Ku Klux Klan gathering in Charlottesville, where Klansmen were outnumbered 20-to-1.

Last year's protests in Charlottesville began August 11 and saw hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathizers, accompanied by rifle-carrying men, yelling white nationalist slogans while wielding flaming torches in scenes eerily reminiscent of racist rallies held in America's South before the Civil Rights movement.

Unlike in Charlottesville, where police allowed the opposing factions to clash in what turned into a bloody melee, Washington, D.C., Police Chief Peter Newsham said Thursday that the goal "will be to keep the two groups separate".

One counter protester, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed when a self-proclaimed white supremacist rammed a crowd of activists at high speed.

Two Virginia state troopers who were assisting the authorities by observing the unrest from the air died when their helicopter crashed on August 12. There are no official far-right protests planned in town this weekend, but the city's downtown area has been closed to traffic, and the University of Virginia, where hundreds of white supremacists marched with flaming torches previous year, is restricting access to parts of its campus.

The "Unite the Right" rally was scheduled for Sat. Aug. 12 and participants started to gather in Charlottesville the night before.

On Sunday, thousands of counter-protesters are slated to attend multiple rallies against white supremacy in Washington, DC.

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.

"These purveyors of hate and bigotry were emboldened to take their message public by a President who has refused to categorically and unequivocally condemn their message and actions in clear terms".

Murphy also chose to close the City Market Aug. 11 due to public safety concerns in the downtown area.

Kessler had applied for a permit to hold his anniversary rally in Charlottesville, and had sued the city when they denied him the permit, but he dropped his battle with the city in late July.

President Donald Trump on Saturday used one of his morning Twitter missives to acknowledge that the weekend marks the first anniversary of Charlottesville, Virginia's deadly white nationalist rally and to condemn racism in America. The rally, organized to protest plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from downtown park, quickly deteriorated into clashes, prompting officials to declare the event illegal.

Counter-protests: There are several counter-demonstrations planned.

"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.

Newsham said the permit allowed for 400 demonstrators, and that overflow zones will be available should more protesters arrive.

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