Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

In Charlottesville, Memorials And Heavy Police Presence On Rally Anniversary

In Charlottesville, Memorials And Heavy Police Presence On Rally Anniversary

During an interview this summer, Kessler said he was still "coming to terms" with what happened at last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and said he apologized to the family of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a motorist drove his auto into a group of counter-protesters.

Organizer Jason Kessler, who also organized last year's "Unite the Right" rally, said in his permit application that this weekend's event is a "white civil rights rally". "I am urging Virginians to make alternative plans to engaging with planned demonstrations of hate, should those arise".

"Nobody wants to have to live in a situation like that, but given everything that went on past year, given that there was an attempt that's kind of fizzled but there was an attempt to kind of bring it back to Charlottesville as they said, I think it's necessary, honestly", Rodi said.

Kessler has been promoting this year's event on various social media platforms and blames the city of Charlottesville for violence during last year's rally, when armed neo-Nazis descended on the normally tranquil southern town. The state's declaration allocates $2 million in state funds and authorizes the Virginia National Guard to assist in security efforts.

Many business owners have said the plan is too restrictive and will cost them significant revenue on what would normally be a busy summer weekend.

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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.

"We have learned many lessons from the tragic events of August 12, 2017".

A white nationalist protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee turned violent a year ago when participants clashed with counter protesters.

The NSM, a white supremacy group with headquarters in Detroit, came to Newnan for a rally in April. The city is planning to establish a "defined security area" downtown where weapons will be banned. "It's so fraught with what's happened that I feel I need to be away this weekend", McKeithen says.

"We have seen in the past where these two groups have been in the same area at the same time, it leads to violent confrontations", Newsham said at a press briefing Thursday.

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Earlier in 2017, the Charlottesville City Council had voted to remove the Lee statue and rename the park where it is located.

Officers will endeavor to keep the two sides separate, Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said.

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

Meanwhile, Alan Popovsky, who owns several restaurants with president themes in D.C., said he plans to serve Sunday brunch at his restaurant, Lincoln, and then close for dinner, after his staff said they were anxious about their safety.

Unlike previous year, they are banned from holding a march or carrying open-flame torches, as they did in Virginia to protest against the removal of Confederate monuments.

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Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counterprotestor, was killed last year when a self-identified Nazi drove a vehicle through a crowd of demonstrators. The driver, James Alex Fields, has been indicted on federal hate-crime and state murder charges.

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