Counterprotesters expected to dwarf white supremacists in Washington

Casey GreeneAug 13, 2018

Miska is known for trying previous year to remove the shroud covering the Robert E. Lee statue at the epicenter of the original rally. Concrete barriers and metal fences had been erected, and police were searching bags at two checkpoints where people could enter or leave.

State Police patrol the road in front of Market Street park with the state of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Government and police officials in Washington have expressed confidence the city can manage the events without violence; the mayor and police chief have promised a massive security mobilization to keep protesters and counter-protesters apart. Police, who appeared to be avoiding a confrontation, rode bicycles ahead of the march to stop traffic.

Carlson said police didn't intervene to help her or her friends that night past year.

"There's a profound difference in this year and last year and that is the heavy police presence", said Lisa Woolfork, an associate professor of English at the University of Virginia and a local organizer with Black Lives Matter.

Paul Wiedefeld, chief executive of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which runs the metro, told reporters at the station that a full blown security operation was in effect to avert the kind of violence that erupted in Charlottesville a year ago.

Authorities have promised an enormous police presence to keep both sides apart and avoid the street brawls that broke out previous year in downtown Charlottesville. The students said it did not make them feel safe.

But some business owners and downtown visitors said Saturday they were comforted by the security measures.

Kyle Rodland, 35, took his young sons to get ice cream downtown late Saturday morning.

"'All types.' 'Both sides.' Continuing to advance a narrative of moral equivalency between racists and those opposed to racism, so as not to tick of his white supremacist supporters", Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund, posted on Twitter.

The university itself said it will be hosting a "morning of reflection and renewal" to mark the anniversary.

Ryan recalled how a group of students and community members faced off against the white supremacists near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on campus, calling it a "remarkable moment of courage and bravery".

One woman, 32-year-old Heather Hayer, was killed and 19 people injured when a van drove into a crowd in Charlottesville on 12 August 2017. James Alex Fields Jr, the accused driver, has since been charged on several counts, including federal hate crimes.

Bro also thanked Virginia State Police for their presence and sacrifice, leaving flowers for the two officers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who were killed in a helicopter crash related to last year's events.

Washington, D.C., is preparing for a white supremacist rally next to the White House on Sunday, one year after the "Unite The Right" demonstration by the same organizer turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and city officials in Charlottesville announced a state of emergency would be in effect Friday through Sunday in that city and parts of Northern Virginia, outside Washington. One was John Miska, a bearded, tie-dye-wearing man who was busted after he purchased razor blades at a downtown drugstore.

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