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Anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville angered by heightened police presence, riot gear

12 August 2018

President Donald Trump on Saturday was critical of racism in a tweet acknowledging the anniversary of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned deadly previous year.

FILE - A vehicle plows into a group of counter-protesters marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the day of the "Unite the Right" rally, August 12, 2017, killing one person and injuring scores of others.

Mr. Trump faced bipartisan criticism for his response in the aftermath of the unrest previous year.

Authorities had carefully planned for Saturday's event in Charlottesville, which previous year became the scene of the Unite the Right rally's clash with the leftist Antifa protesters. We must come together as a nation, ' Trump tweeted on Saturday morning. But, he added, "The state police is fully prepared to act on any inciteful violence". "Peace to ALL Americans!" he tweeted.

Another far-right rally is scheduled for Sunday, right outside the White House.

Estimates vary on how many white nationalist protesters will show up.

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The rally attracted counter protesters, and clashes quickly broke out between the two groups.

On August 12, hundreds of white nationalists - including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members - descended on Charlottesville in part to protest the city's decision chose to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park. The declarations enable law enforcement to access state resources, including the National Guard, if unrest breaks out at events in and around Charlottesville and outside Washington, where a "Unite the Right 2" rally is set to occur.

"What about the "alt-left" that came charging at, as you say, the 'alt-right, ' do they have any semblance of guilt?"

Secret service officials will join officers from Washington DC's police force and the National Park Service to ensure there is no repeat of the violent clashes this time past year.

The mother of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was hit by a vehicle and killed last year, has also spoken publicly leading up to the anniversary.

Bowser said she recently spoke with an elderly Washington, D.C., resident who told her she was afraid. Two state troopers also died that day in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville.

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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.

A group of anti-fascist protesters, sometimes known as "Antifa", marched in the afternoon, carrying signs with messages like "Good Night White Pride".

In addition to Kessler, also planning to attend the white-supremacist rally, according to documents obtained by Washington City Paper from the National Park Service, are David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, and several neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. I hope that as we remember the lives lost a year ago, we also renew our commitment to equity and diversity. Richard Spencer, a leading white-nationalist leader who helped Kessler organize last year's event, has said he will not participate in Sunday's rally. "This year, I'm afraid of the police", Woolfork said.

States of emergency were declared on Wednesday for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Charlottesville.

Protesters march ahead of the one year anniversary of the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 11, 2018.

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Anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville angered by heightened police presence, riot gear