Charlottesville on edge on anniversary of deadly white-nationalist rallies

State Of Emergency Declared In Charlottesville For 'Unite the Right' Anniversary

President Donald Trump on Saturday acknowledged the grim anniversary of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly a year ago - and is regarded as one of the worst weeks in his presidency. "The horrific violence that occurred, and the murder of Heather Heyer, tragically reinforced the extent to which racism, anti-Black violence, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and xenophobia continue to plague America".

President Trump urges peace for all Americans one year after the deadly incidents in Charlottesville.

At a white nationalist rally in Portland last week, police officers were accused of using more force against peaceful counter-protestors than the far-right militants. The security measures alarmed activists but reassured others who said they have painful memories of last year's chaos.

More than 1,000 federal, state and local law enforcement members are expected in the area over the weekend.

Concrete barriers and metal fences were put up and police were searching bags at checkpoints.

The 2017 Charlottesville rally, which drew white supremacists and neo-Nazis, was originally meant to protest the planned removal of a statue depicting Confederate General Robert E. Lee that still stands. Many participants dressed as if they were headed to battle, shouted racist slurs and clashed violently with counter-protesters.

"I think there is blame on both sides", Trump said during a press conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in NY.

Last year, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when she was struck by a auto that had plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters.

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Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed during the Unite the Right rally a year ago, wants people "to focus on the anniversary, not on Heather, but on the issues that she died for, Black Lives Matter, overpolicing, affordable housing".

On Saturday morning, the university hosted a "morning of reflection and renewal", with musical performances, a poetry reading and an address from University President James Ryan. He also said the event is meant to protest "civil rights abuse in Charlottesville Va".

University of Virginia professor Lisa Woolfork says she doesn't know anyone who feels safer because of the increased police presence. Carlson, 22, said she feared for her life when she and a group of her friends were surrounded by the phalanx of young white men at the statue.

"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. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) says the action would encourage its 3 million members to share messages of unity and call out white supremacy on social media. A "Rally for Justice" was also scheduled in the evening.

Sunday's Unite the Right rally in LaFayette Park near the White House is organized by Jason Kessler, who invited the NSM to the Charlottesville event.

"We've always acted as if black lives never mattered, as if people of color never mattered", Bro told Cooper on Full Circle. "They are reclaiming that space because past year white supremacists came with their torches and took over that part of campus". Ahead of the weekend, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency for the state, authorizing the Virginia National Guard to help keep the peace.

A handful of Unite the Right protestors are preparing to mark the first anniversary of the protest by marching in Washington, DC, which may spark further riots from leftist groups.

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