White supremacists to march in Washington, will be met by counter-protests

Rabbi Bruce Lustig of Washington Hebrew Congregation is surrounded by clergy of multiple faiths as he helps launch a weekend of counterprotests against white supremacist marchers in Washington D.C. Aug. 10 2018

Washington was bracing for a white nationalist rally on Sunday organized to coincide with the anniversary of last year's racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Several dozen demonstrators from the so-called "antifa", or anti-fascist, movement marched to the spot where Heather Heyer was killed a year ago when a man linked to white supremacist groups rammed his auto into counter-protestors.

The president's response to last year's rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, drew intense criticism when he declared at a Trump Tower news conference that there were "very fine people on both sides".

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.

"I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence", Trump added, before declaring, "Peace to ALL Americans!"

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. Woolfork is also a Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer.

August 12 marks the day when members of the alt-right and white supremacist groups protested Charlottesville's decision to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park.

The state of emergency will stay in place in Charlottesville through the weekend so people can go and honor Heyer's life along with the two state troopers who also died past year. The rally turned violent as protesters clashed with counterprotesters, ultimately resulting in the death of Heather Heyer, 32.

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Kyle Rodland, who took his young sons to get ice cream downtown, said he felt much safer than a year ago, when he left town with his family and stayed with his parents after seeing people armed with long rifles walking around outside his home.

"Nothing would excite us any better than for this to be noneventful and folks to go home and it be a peaceful weekend for all", Settle said.

Another far right rally is scheduled to take place this Sunday in close proximity to the White House. They stopped to pay their respects at the corner where a local woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when an OH man drove his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters following last year's rally.

The nation's capital is gearing up for a self-described white civil rights rally. "It's so fraught with what's happened that I feel I need to be away this weekend", McKeithen says. An extensive review identified "gaps" in planning and communication among agencies, culminating in this year's plan, Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney said.

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

An investigation by a former U.S. attorney found a lack of planning, poor communication and a passive response by law enforcement added to last year's chaos.

"While we are opposed adamantly to what we are going to hear, we know what our responsibility is - to protect First Amendment events, to protect Washingtonians and to protect our city", she said.

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