Police mobilises hundreds of officers as anti-fascist activists rally peacefully in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia to mark the anniversary of last summer's white supremacist violence. Organizers of the alt-right rally likewise warned attendees to not bring firearms or other weapons, including pepper spray, clubs, knives and shields. They stopped to pay their respects at the corner where a local woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when an OH man drove his auto into a crowd of counterprotesters following last year's rally. The man accused of killing Heyer faces murder and hate crime charges.
"This event on Sunday will be that which allows the First Amendment to occur because our beat, our daily responsibilities on the National Mall is our nation's civic stage", said Unite States Park Police Chief Robert MacLean.
Incendiary as it may be, by Washington standards Sunday's gatherings will be tiny. According to Young, the rally will host a number of speakers from a variety of different backgrounds to "celebrate our our existence and our resilience ". It said "there is no expectation of privacy" and told participants not to talk to the media. "It's also energized activists who are intent on fighting hate and not letting Charlottesville become some sort of shorthand for racial strife".
"We must come together as a nation", he wrote.
"Officers will be on high alert for anyone who will be carrying a firearm", he warned.More news: Jorginho scores penalty as Chelsea win and Crystal Palace spoil Fulham's return
A collective of counter-protest groups will stage a rally earlier in the day before congregating at the park and have vowed to drown out the white nationalists' message.
Several events are scheduled in Charlottesville to observe what happened previous year and promote racial healing.
The hearing was part of his lawsuit against Charlottesville after it denied his permit application on the grounds it would "present a danger to public safety".
Jason Kessler, who also organized last year's event, predicted 400 in his permit application, but turnout could be much lower.
Attendees of "Unite the Right 2", a follow-up to the controversial far-right protest a year ago, have been told to bring Confederate flags, wear body cameras and expect to be provoked. "It's just too frightening to be here, not knowing what might happen".More news: DC, Charlottesville on edge as white nationalists prepare to rally
Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told USA TODAY that Trump's comments on Saturday seemed to be forced and noted the wording was suspicious.
On Sunday, thousands of counter-protesters are slated to attend multiple rallies against white supremacy in Washington, DC. He said then that there were "good people on both sides", and later "blame on both sides".
James Murray, an assistant director in the Secret Service's Office of Protective Operations, warned in a letter on Monday to the Park Service that some of the same counterprotesters who seized downtown streets at the presidential inauguration in January 2017 were also interested in Sunday's demonstrations, and were "known to have engaged in violent and destructive activity".More news: Tesla plunges, wiping out tweet-fueled rally in just two days