Charlottesville Anniversary: Rallies Planned One Year After Death of Heather Heyer

Businesses say they'll refuse service to Unite the Right attendees in DC

The Spectrum News DC bureau will be covering the Unite the Right rally Sunday, as well as the counter-protests.

An independent investigation of the rally violence, led by a former federal prosecutor, found the chaos stemmed from a passive response by law enforcement and poor preparation and coordination between state and city police.

The student rally escalated enough to prompt a lockdown at UVA medical.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said officers will endeavor to keep far-right demonstrators and counterprotesters separate from one another.

Authorities came under harsh criticism for underestimating the potential for unrest at last year's rally. "They weren't there to protect us", she recalled.

Things escalated when police surrounded class halls.

"Why are you in riot gear?"

Last summer hundreds of white nationalists protested the city's plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Many local residents also made a point of coming downtown to mark the anniversary.

"Charlottesville police deserve a lot of credit for keeping it under relative control", Perry wrote on Twitter early Sunday morning. A 28-year-old North Carolina man was arrested for trespassing and a 64-year-old man from surrounding Albemarle County, Virginia, was arrested for disorderly conduct.

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The city is closing downtown streets and public parks and restricting access to a downtown "security area", where visitors are prohibited from wearing masks or carrying certain items, including skateboards, catapults, glass bottles, bats and knives. An Ohio man accused of driving the auto was charged with second-degree murder in Heyer's death.

Saturday, some crowds showed up in the city, which was under a state of emergency along with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Numerous protesters directed their anger at the heavy police presence, with chants like "cops and Klan go hand in hand", a year after police were harshly criticized for their failure to prevent the violence.

Flowers and messages are left at a memorial to Heather Heyer ahead of the one year anniversary of 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" protests, in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11, 2018. But they also reawakened our commitment to fight back against that ugliness of racism and bigotry. "We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully". "We must continue to work to ensure that our hearts are open to our neighbors, and our systems are committed to justice".

"That's exactly what Heather would say, 'quit looking at me, look at the issues, '" Bro said.

"It's a sad indictment of this country that we are even having to deal with organized white supremacists", Mike Stark, an organizer for the march to Lafayette Park, said in a statement. "We all have a responsibility to be involved and to act". A makeshift memorial adorned with flowers was created on a sidewalk close to where Heyer was struck.

This weekend was much quieter in Charlottesville. Officers from the U.S. Park Police and the Washington police department will erect a barrier separating the white nationalists and the thousands of counterprotesters who intend to oppose them.

The organizer expects a maximum of 400 attendees, according to the permit application.

When the demonstrations continued on August 12, fighting broke out between neo-Nazis and counterdemonstrators, including members of the anti-fascist Antifa group.

NBC12 will have crews in both Charlottesville and D.C. throughout the weekend and will have updates both on air and online.

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