Unite the Right: Permit granted for Washington DC far-right rally

Unite the Right: Permit granted for Washington DC far-right rally

Charlottesville has refused to grant a permit for another "Unite the Right" rally, after last year's event devolved into violence when police ended up pushing together white nationalists and "antifa" counter-protesters, instead of separating them.

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

Counter-protesters are expected to outnumber white supremacists this Sunday in Washington. By the time she arrived in Charlottesville a year ago, numerous neo-Nazis who were present already knew who she was, as well as intimate details about her life.

The Washington D.C. Police Department held a press conference on Thursday, which included comments from Mayor Muriel Bowser and law enforcement about the upcoming weekend. James Alex Fields, Jr.is charged with driving his auto into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of people.

Virginia State Police Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen III and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates were killed in a helicopter crash as they responded to the violence.

Police plan to close more than a dozen streets in downtown Washington and cordon off broad sections of Lafayette Square to separate the opposing demonstrators, said Peter Newsham, chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.

In a low point for his presidency, Donald Trump, blamed "both sides" for the bloodshed, a reaction that triggered astonishment among many and was widely seen as escalating tensions.

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Murphy also said at Monday's meeting that he chose to deny the remaining pending permits the previous Friday for a recreational fair-style "Festival of the Schmestival" event in Market Street Park on Saturday due to safety concerns.

The founder of last year's event organized a march Sunday in Washington, D.C.

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. "These are the forces he has unleashed", said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center anti-bigotry group, in an open letter.

Murphy also made a decision to close the City Market Aug. 11 due to public safety concerns in the downtown area.

"I don't know exactly what will happen, but it probably will not be good", tweeted Richard Spencer, a leader of the so-called "alt-right" movement, who said he would be staying away from the rally.

Counter-protesters turned out to demonstrate against the rally.

The events mark the anniversary of the violent 2017 rally that led to the deaths of three people including two law enforcement officers. "You also had some very fine people on both sides", he added. Police said they would have a heavy presence in and around Metro stations at Foggy Bottom and Vienna but would not say if they would give Kessler's group special protections on public transit. "We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully", Gov. Northam said.

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