Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

State of emergency declared in preparation of Unite the Right anniversary

State of emergency declared in preparation of Unite the Right anniversary

- Businesses in the District where white nationalist, white supremacist and neo-Nazis are planning to hold the Unite the Right rally on Sunday have stated they will refuse service to anyone with hate in their heart.

Last year, when white supremacy groups collided in Charlottesville, Virginia, the confrontations were deadly.

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.

"We have learned many lessons from the tragic events of August 12, 2017".

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham have called press conferences, in July and August, addressing community concerns.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counterprotestor, was killed last year when a self-identified Nazi drove a vehicle through a crowd of demonstrators.

Officials said the declaration was made for the events planned for this weekend to mark the anniversary of the "Unite the Right" rally, which resulted in the death of a counterprotester and two Virginia State Police troopers in 2017.

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Members of the National Socialist Movement march through downtown Newnan en route to their April rally at Greenville Street Park.

In a dramatic change of tone from the previous year, when he said there was "blame on both sides" for the violence, President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he condemns "all types of racism and acts of violence".

Mr Kessler had sued the city after he was denied a permit to hold a second rally, but dropped the case last Friday.

A release on the emergency declarations said this is to address the potential impacts of events in and around Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. that will take place this weekend.

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

"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. Safety and security are always a top concern as restaurants are public spaces.

The statue and the park in which it's located were the center of last year's Unite the Right rally.

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A march is to begin at 5 p.m. ET Sunday from Washington's Foggy Bottom subway station to Lafayette Square park, according to the "Unite the Right 2" website.

With regards to the security area downtown, law enforcement personnel will man two entry points for pedestrians seeking to enter the security area.

Jason Kessler, the primary organizer of last summer's rally, sued the city of Charlottesville after it refused to issue him a permit for another event this weekend.

"My philosophy is that we will police your behaviors, not ideologies", Brackney said at a briefing last month.

"There is no intention to accommodate one side or the other", Newsham said.

The permit application for the Washington rally said 400 people were expected, and described the event as a protest against "civil rights abuse in Charlottesville".

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