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US For Charlottesville, a tense weekend on anniversary of racial violence at rally

05:20  13 august  2018
05:20  13 august  2018 Source:   msn.com

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CHARLOTTESVILLE — It was here, at the corner of Fourth and Water streets, where the That focus once again settled on the college town this weekend , on the first anniversary of the largest white-supremacist rally in decades. The scene in Charlottesville a year after the deadly racial violence .

The Unite the Right rally was a white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville , Virginia, from August 11 to 12, 2017. Protesters included members of the far-right and included self-identified

Police carry a protester at the site where Heather Heyer was killed, on the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville © Reuters Police carry a protester at the site where Heather Heyer was killed, on the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder CHARLOTTESVILLE —It was here, at the corner of Fourth and Water streets, where the Charlottesville that once was ended and the Charlottesville of today began. A car plowed into a crowd of people. A young woman was killed. And another painful examination of racism in America was underway, one with Charlottesville as its focus.

That focus once again settled on the college town this weekend, on the first anniversary of the largest white-supremacist rally in decades.

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Charlottesville , best known for being home to the state university created by Thomas Jefferson, may seem like an unusual choice for a heated battle Charlottesville had been in a months-long battle over what to do with a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, who led the Confederate army during the Civil War.

CHARLOTTESVILLE , Va. – Activists honored the victims of last year's violent clashes with white nationalists and denounced racial bigotry on Sunday, but the all-day The crowd converged on Booker T. Washington Park to mark the first anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally last year.

The intersection, in a way, was a distillation of a country and city still reckoning with the racism in its past and present.

There were more than 100 mostly young protesters, some who had come from other states, calling for an end to white supremacist groups. There was an overwhelming police presence that some demonstrators called symptomatic of an over-policing of minority communities in America.

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And there was a mother who had come to the exact spot where her daughter, Heather Heyer, was killed last year when a car, allegedly driven by a man who police say identified himself as a neo-Nazi, plowed into a crowd.

Beside the makeshift memorial swelling with flowers and posters, Susan Bro tried to put into words the tensions that not only were at the root of her daughter’s death but that also infused a service in her memory on Sunday.

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  Heather Heyer's mother carries on fight for social justice One year after Susan Bro's daughter was killed when a car plowed into counterprotesters at a rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bro plans to mark the tragedy by going to the street where it happened. Bro's visit this weekend to the place where her daughter, Heather Heyer, 32, died is emblematic of her grit and the purpose she found after the violent episode that shocked Charlottesville and the nation."There's plenty of work to do," Bro said in an interview Friday night on "Anderson Cooper Full Circle" on Facebook. "And, frankly, my new motto for myself is, suck it up, buttercup.

Sunday is the anniversary of the violence that erupted on the streets of Charlottesville , where hundreds of rally participants gathered 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 .

U.S. Charlottesville Anniversary Protests D.C. One year after the devastating alt-right marches in Charlottesville Police face anti-fascist protesters gathered as right-wing rally organizer, Patriot While local police don't expect a repeat of last year's violence , they are preparing for all outcomes.

“We have a huge racial problem in our city and in our country,” she said. “We have got to fix this, or we’ll be right back here in no time.” She added: “I think last year’s eruption — that infection gives us a little better understanding of how bad it is so that we can gradually, slowly and difficultly heal.”

On the other side of the barricade, there was less a feeling of reconciliation than anger, as protesters screamed at police officers, whom some demonstrators had all weekend tried to associate with racism and fascism.

The night before, protesters had gathered at the steps of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, before a giant banner that said, “Last year they came with torches; this year they come with badges,” and then marched through the streets for hours. On Sunday, the protesters, who had come out to combat absent white supremacists, were trying to combat the police, too. They cursed them. Insulted their looks. “Blue lives don’t matter,” the crowd chanted. And: “We don’t need cops.”

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The Charlottesville police knew in advance “that there were people here bent on engaging in violence The Charlottesville police had not been trained in handling civil unrest, and did not consult with The night before the Aug. 12 rally , Unite the Right forces marched without a permit onto the

The city of Charlottesville declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white nationalist rally . Officials said the declaration would streamline state and local operations this weekend while also allocating million in state funds.

The year before, police and authorities in Charlottesville had been so outnumbered and ill-prepared for the white-nationalist “Unite the Right” rally that surged through Charlottesville’s streets that an independent report later commissioned by the city largely attributed the “disastrous results” to the police. Two Virginia State Police troopers in a helicopter also died in a crash last year while monitoring the civil unrest.

In a city already divided over race, and over whether the old Charlottesville could ever be reclaimed, the contrast between last year’s police presence and this year’s became another polarizing issue.

Some called the heavy law enforcement presence a difficult necessity to ensure everyone was safe. Others said the police made them feel anything but safe. And still others saw a racial disparity in the display.

“I was here last year and was almost hit by the car,” resident Zoe Spellman, 31, said. “It’s sad that our relationship with the police is manifesting itself this way. I saw last year how they would not help us. We begged for help on [August] the 11th. We begged for help on the 12th. . . . And for we white people, this was the first time we felt what black people must feel all the time.”

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Another resident, Cindy Lou Heinemann, stood on the other side of the barrier holding a sign that proclaimed her support for the police. She said she had never blamed the police for what happened last year. It was the clashes that killed Heyer, not the police. And now, with the police being criticized again, she said she felt compelled to come down.

“This does not represent the city by any means,” she said of the anti-fascist protesters. “This is not a black or white person thing anymore — this is just ugly.”

Police said that they were aware of the consternation that their strong presence has elicited among some protesters but that it was necessary.

“We are trying to maintain order and have a duty and obligation to try to make sure there is no property damage,” Charlottesville police spokesman Tony Newberry said. “We’re here to protect the different groups who have come here to voice their First Amendment rights.”

Where many people wanted to voice their rights was at the intersection, where there were several long and tense standoffs between police and protesters. There was at least one skirmish, just before 2 p.m., leading to an arrest, amid screams and even more tension. The charge will likely involve disorderly conduct or trespassing, Newberry said. It was one of two arrests on Sunday; the other was for blocking traffic.

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Behind the intersection was a pedestrian mall, normally humming with weekend shoppers and restaurant-goers. But many shops were closed. The ones that were open might as well not have been.

At the end of one barricaded alley, and down the steps, a store clerk named Jinny Cowgill looked over an empty vintage store and chatted with a friend on Saturday. It was getting on toward noon, and normally by that time, customers would be coming and going, but the store hadn’t seen a single shopper.

“You’ve heard of food deserts — this is like a business desert,” said the friend, Carolyn Burgess. “ . . . Last year, we were terrorized by the KKK, and this year we’re terrorized by the police.”

“It’s a great line,” replied Cowgill. “But I don’t feel terrorized.”

“I feel like we’re under martial law,” Burgess said.

A few blocks away on Sunday, Karen Walker stood outside her empty flower shop on Fourth Street, a short distance from the Heyer memorial.

“Come here,” she said. “I’ll show you something.”

Inside the flower shop — where bundles of flowers were everywhere, and gentle music played — was a big picture window in the back, through which she watched 10 police officers sitting in an alley behind her shop, in riot gear.

“And this is my office view,” she said. “This is a flower shop. We’re inside here preparing flowers for happy events.”

And outside, at the intersection that had changed the city, steps outside her door, there was everything else.

terrence.mccoy@washpost.com

White Nationalist Rally Winds Down Before It Begins as Rain Falls .
It was basically all over before it began as a few dozen white nationalists rallied in Washington Sunday afternoon under rainy skies. Police separated the group from a much larger contingent of anti-racism demonstrators to prevent a melee like the one a year ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, that cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency. No arrests were reported.Permits for Sunday’s “Unite the Right 2” rally indicated that about 400 demonstrators were expected in Lafayette Square, a park adjacent to the White House. But the group was a fraction of that, far outnumbered by police and media.

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