Pres. Trump Calls For Peace, Condemns Racism, One Year After Charlottesville Riots


"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides", Trump said, following the events.

Rally participants are likely to be outnumbered by passionate counter-protesters.

US President Donald Trump, often accused of denigrating non-white people, condemned racism Saturday as the nation marked the anniversary of deadly unrest triggered by a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. She later said the comments "had nothing to do with race or ethnicity".

Videos from the march show police in neon riot gear flanking peaceful protesters on all sides as they march through the streets.

After a few minutes, most of the demonstrators began to walk away.

Workers enclose a statue of Robert E. Lee near downtown Charlottesville, Va.

Activists in Charlottesville plan a rally against hate on Saturday, and numerous same alt-right groups that appeared in last year's "Unite the Right" rally are planning a sequel in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

"Last year was a whole different story".

Saturday's events in Charlottesville precede a planned "white civil rights" rally set for Sunday in Washington, D.C. The demonstration was planned by Jason Kessler, who also organized last year's rally.

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More than 1,000 law enforcement officers are stationed around Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend, as the city marks a year since violent white supremacist rallies sparked a deadly attack and open fighting in the streets. "It looked like a war zone past year compared to what it is today".

On the day's itinerary were several remembrance events, including a "morning of reflection and renewal", a poetry session, and an appearance by University of Virginia President James Ryan, who was on deck to speak.

The mother of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was hit by a vehicle and killed last year, has also spoken publicly leading up to the anniversary.

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

Kessler recently abandoned his lawsuit, but told the AP he is pressing ahead with plans for the August 12 rally in Washington, D.C.

Students say they're disgusted with the school because it didn't waive medical feels for last year's rally victims. The local chapter of Black Lives Matter is also planning a separate march to the site. A second permit for a counter-protest was also issued. Trump said then the group included "fine people". "This year, I'm afraid of the police", Woolfork said.

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.

Sunday's rally comes less than three months before midterm elections to determine whether Republicans maintain their majority in Congress. Democrats and independents are defending 25 seats in the Senate, compared to eight for Republicans, and need to win an additional net 23 seats to take over the House of Representatives.

Trump was heavily criticized, including by Republicans, previous year for initially refusing to explicitly condemn the white supremacists who organized and attended the rally.