VA Gov. Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Charlottesville Rally Anniversary

State Of Emergency Declared In Charlottesville For 'Unite the Right' Anniversary

State Of Emergency Declared In Charlottesville For 'Unite the Right' Anniversary

On Aug. 12, 2017, a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville turned deadly when a 20-year-old OH man allegedly accelerated his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and leaving 19 others injured, five critically.

Two Virginia State Police officers also died in a helicopter crash while assisting police activity related the the rally.

Mark Lance, a philosophy professor at Georgetown University and an organizer of some of Sunday's planned the counter-demonstrations, said Kessler's call for "white civil rights" was meant to obscure the beliefs of those that rallied in Charlottesville.

Governor Northam urged residents to "make alternative plans to engaging with planned demonstrations of hate".

At a multi-agency press conference Wednesday, Charlottesville Director of Communications Brian Wheeler said well over a thousand public safety and law enforcement personnel will be active in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region this weekend - including over 700 Virginia State troopers, 300 National Guard troops who will be on stand-by and the combined forces of the Charlottesville, Albemarle and U.Va. police departments.

"One of my hugest gripes with previous year with the people of this town was that people, mostly white folks, kept saying, 'This isn't Charlottesville,"' said Brenda Brown-Grooms, a local pastor and activist.

The declaration allocates $2 million in funds to pay for state resources ahead of the weekend's events.

"I'm not looking forward to what that's going to look like this weekend", she said.

Last year, when white supremacy groups collided in Charlottesville, Virginia, the confrontations were deadly. Some activists have criticized the plans for a heavy-handed police presence this year, while local business owners have also questioned whether it's necessary to partially shut down the city for the weekend.

He admitted there were many lessons to be learned from last year's violence in Charlottesville.

Images of neo-Nazis marching in the streets and violent clashes between alt-right protesters and counterprotesters in Charlottesville a year ago are still fresh in many residents' minds. The city is planning to establish a "defined security area" downtown where weapons will be banned. A few days after the rally, Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk told Bloomberg that the site had quietly rejected white supremacists from making reservations the week before and began deleting suspected white supremacists' accounts after they were informed of the gathering.

Officers will endeavor to keep the two sides separate, Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said.

The permit application said 400 people were expected for Sunday's event, but that number could change.

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

The clashes turned deadly when a auto ploughed into a group of counter demonstrators, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Kessler said on Thursday that he would be in Washington on Saturday, as well, and that he did not know of any plans for other events in Charlottesville.

Fields was indicted for the death of Heyer and charged with 30 hate crimes.

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