State of emergency declared ahead of Charlottesville anniversary

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White nationalists held a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville past year, billing it as a protest over the removal of a statue honouring a commander of the Confederate Army, the losing side in the US Civil War.

Emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act between organizers for the white nationalist event and the National Park Service reveal potential speakers at the rally include former grand wizard of the KKK David Duke, who made headlines in 2016 when he signed up to run for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana, and neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Patrick Little.

No permits have been granted for white nationalist groups in Charlottesville but a counterprotest group has planned a protest Saturday night against the university for what it says is failure to stand up strongly enough against white supremacy.

Resources from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Health and Virginia National Guard will be present in Charlottesville over the weekend.

In August 2017, white supremacist demonstrators and counterprotesters squared off in violent clashes in Charlottesville, site of the University of Virginia.

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Other businesses have taken similar approaches and have said they will deny services to attendees of the Unite the Right rally. "They are reclaiming that space because past year white supremacists came with their torches and took over that part of campus". They spoke at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, where leaders urged a message of peace and inclusiveness, and noted that houses of worship and community centers would be open across the city for people wishing to contemplate a more uplifting message.

"I get choked up and have to gather myself before I talk to the client", said Wilson, who hired Heyer, the 32-year-old paralegal killed almost a year ago in a vehicle attack during a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, US. 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.

Law enforcement and D.C.'s Mayor Muriel Bowser stood shoulder-to-shoulder Thursday touting lessons learned from past year and patrolling other controversial demonstrations.

There are no official protests planned in Charlottesville this weekend.

"D.C. police deal with protests every week and more or less have unlimited resources".

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Chaos erupted before the event even began, with participants and counter-protesters brawling in the street. I hope that as we remember the lives lost a year ago, we also renew our commitment to equity and diversity.

"We have seen in the past where these two groups have been in the same area at the same time, it leads to violent confrontations", Newsham said at a press briefing Thursday.

More details about the demonstrations are expected to be released in the coming days.

Chief Newsham said that local law enforcement is fully prepared to handle whatever happens this weekend.

The images of people carrying torches and shouting racist slogans as they marched shocked the city, the country and the world.

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