Virginia declares state of emergency ahead of anniversary of Charlottesville rally

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The group took part in last year's Unite the Right rally, but has not announced plans regarding Sunday's rally in Washington, D.C.

The National Park Service said Wednesday it issued a permit for a rally in Lafayette Park by Unite the Right.

On the eve of last year's rally, torch-toting white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia's campus, shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. In July 2017, members of a Ku Klux Klan chapter and counter-protesters gathered at a park for a "loud and angry", but nonviolent protest. Portland Police is conducting an internal investigation into its use of force on August 4, which included flash bangs, after a June 30 rally there turned into a riot, sending at least four to area hospitals by ambulance. Organizers of the alt-right rally likewise warned attendees to not bring firearms or other weapons, including pepper spray, clubs, knives and shields.

It allows for up to 400 participants, who say they plan to protest "civil rights abuse in Charlottesville, VA/white civil rights rally". In order to break out in the street, they caused violent clashes and thus, prompted the former Governor Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency.


The "Unite the Right" rally last August, called to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, turned the picturesque Virginia college town into a chaotic scene of street brawls, and one woman was killed when an OH man rammed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters. James Fields was charged with a hate crime for the death of Heather Heyer and is now on trial. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin in November.

Two state troopers who had been monitoring the event also were killed when their helicopter crashed. The pilot, 48-year-old Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, and 40-year-old Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, died at the scene.

- Airbnb has threatened to cancel the accounts of anyone renting from them who participates in the Unite the Right rally in the District this weekend.

Kessler is awaiting a permit from the National Park Service to host the rally in D.C.'s Lafayette Park.


Initial plans were for Kessler's group to assemble at the Vienna Metro station in northern Virginia and take Metro to Foggy Bottom, then march to McPherson Square.

Reeve said she was going through security last Christmas and a male TSA officer recognized her.

Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer, told the Associated Press that police are mounting a "huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year's inaction".

Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney said the goal for that community is to have a peaceful weekend.


"We draw a line at giving special accommodations to hate groups and hate speech", Local 689 President Jackie Jeter said in a statement.

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