Trump condemns racism and violence ahead of anniversary of fatal Charlottesville rally

Blanche Robertson
August 12, 2018

Trump has retweeted white nationalist material, said Mexicans crossing the USA border are rapists and drug dealers, once referred to a Hispanic Miss Universe as "Miss Housekeeping" and employed Steve Bannon, a central figure of the new "alt-right" in America, as his campaign chief and top strategist for a time.

One person died and several others were injured on August 12 previous year when a vehicle ploughed into counter protesters who had taken to the streets to oppose a Unite the Right rally of white nationalists.

Organizer: The event was organized by Jason Kessler, who already had last year's rally on his resume.

"No", Cummings said. "He has not gone far enough".

Charlottesville City Councilor Wes Bellamy commented on the rally when saying, "They weren't doing anything that was unlawful".

The crowd was eventually forced to disperse but a vehicle that authorities say was driven by a man fascinated with Adolf Hitler later plowed into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters.

Despite heightened emotions and frustration over the police presence, the city reports no arrests and no violent outbreaks.

The rest of the day had been much quieter.

As many businesses in a popular downtown shopping district began to open on Saturday, law enforcement officers outnumbered visitors. A year ago was a whole different story.

Any response from Trump to this year's demonstrations could have consequences as Democrats look to harness outrage for electoral gains.

The rally is being billed as a "white civil rights rally" meant to protest "civil rights abuse in Charlottesville". The rally turned violent as protesters clashed with counterprotesters, ultimately resulting in the death of Heather Heyer, 32.

Trump's words contrast sharply with his first public comments on the events last summer, which left 32-year-old anti-racist counterprotester Heather Heyer dead after a suspected white nationalist plowed his vehicle into a crowd on August 12, 2017.

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Two Virginia state troopers who were monitoring the rally were later killed in the line of duty when their helicopter crashed.

UVA President James Ryan spoke to a crowd gathered Saturday morning for a service of reflection on the anniversary of the march.

The president of the University of Virginia has offered an apology to the students and community members who faced off a year ago against white supremacists during a march through campus.

Clara Carlson was one of those counterprotesters. "This progress that they are so afraid of - the rise of black leaders and Black Lives Matter getting bigger and people feeling safe to speak their mind - that is still happening". An extensive review identified "gaps" in planning and communication among agencies, culminating in this year's plan, Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney said.

"I remember the police just standing around". "I was grateful that I was able to come out of that alive".

"We still have a lot of things to do in this city", said King.

Three men were taken into custody by police around the secured perimeter, accused of trespassing, possessing prohibited items and being drunk in public, the city said in a news release.

An investigation by a former USA attorney found a lack of planning, poor communication and a passive response by law enforcement added to last year's chaos.

"Last year, I was afraid of the Nazis".

"You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides", Trump had said.

The city says law enforcement at the access points are conducting consensual checks for objects that were banned as a security measure during the weekend anniversary of last summer's violence.

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