Trump calls for peace on Charlottesville anniversary as residents on edge

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

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

US President Donald Trump condemned "all types of racism and acts of violence" on the first anniversary of the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The city is expecting large crowds to honor Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old killed when a vehicle rammed into a packed street of counter-protesters in downtown Charlottesville on August 12 2017. Participants plan to march from Washington's Foggy Bottom neighborhood to Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House.

On Sunday, thousands of counter-protesters are slated to attend multiple rallies against white supremacy in Washington, DC. The coalition has called for "mass mobilization" in D.C. between August 10 to 12.

What is this protest about?

Trump's tweet on Saturday faced criticism on social media as some jumped on the his wording of "all types of racism", after his claim previous year that "both sides" were responsible for the violence.

Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday marked the anniversary of last summer's white supremacist violence with marches, vigils and other community events that began unfolding peacefully amid a heavy police presence.

Kessler has not responded to CNN's requests for comment for more details about this weekend's event.

During an interview this summer, Kessler said he was still "coming to terms" with what happened a year ago and said he apologised to Heyer's family. Meanwhile, authorities largely stood by on the fringes of the action near a downtown park with a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that the city wanted to remove.

Any response from Trump to this year's demonstrations could have consequences as Democrats look to harness outrage for electoral gains. He said those issues include free speech, preserving history against "revisionism", combating political correctness and advocating for white interests.

At the pre-rally organising meeting on Wednesday night, Hagler added: "They call this Unite the Right".

A 20-year-old man from Ohio, James Alex Fields Jr.

In Charlottesville, officials have announced an unprecedented lockdown of the bustling downtown district.

Those initial remarks last year came after Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, was struck and killed, in which he omitted any mention of the bigoted hate groups leading the rally.

Now, one group is vowing to counter-protest with dancing.

The City of Charlottesville denied Kessler's request for a permit to hold a similar demonstration, and demonstrators will hold their main protest on Sunday afternoon, the first anniversary of Heyer's death, in the Washington, DC's Lafayette Park.

But some business owners and downtown visitors said Saturday they were comforted by the security measures. We will not back down.

What are police doing about security?

.

Now, ahead of the anniversary of the horrific rally, the governor of Virginia has declared states of emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Charlottesville. The Washington police department is working to keep the two groups apart to prevent violence. A "Rally for Justice" was also scheduled in the evening.

In downtown Charlottesville, Va., authorities are limiting auto and pedestrian traffic, dozens of police in riot gear are patrolling a park in the city's center and some residents have left town in case the weekend turns violent. "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".

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