DC, Charlottesville on edge as white nationalists prepare to rally

Maryland, DC Prepare For Unite The Right Rally

August 12th, 2018 marks one year since Heather Heyer was tragically killed by a neo-nazi in Charlottesville in a violent ordeal known as the "Unite the Right" rally.

In downtown Charlottesville, Va., authorities are limiting auto and pedestrian traffic, dozens of police in riot gear are patrolling a park in the city's center and some residents have left town in case the weekend turns violent.

The city of Charlottesville, Virginia, is bracing for what may come this weekend on the one-year anniversary of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports that memorials have been planned throughout the week. The group paraded through the University of Virginia's campus, shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans.

Students say they're disgusted with the school because it didn't waive medical feels for last year's rally victims. "We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully".

Both Market Street Park, where last year's rally was held, and Court Square Park will be completely fenced off, according to city spokesman Brian Wheeler.

After authorities had forced the clashing crowds of of white supremacists and counterprotesters to disperse, a auto plowed into a crowd, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer.

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The violence led to the death of 32-year-old counter protester Heather Heyer who was struck by a vehicle. Susan Bro tells NPR that her daughters' legacy is a call to action.

James Fields Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, is charged in state court with murder in Heyer's killing and also faces separate hate crime charges in federal court. Newsham repeatedly referred to Kessler's group as "white supremacists". Gov. Northam declared a state of emergency in advance, allowing Charlottesville to have a heavy police presence.

A white supremacist rally is set for Sunday in Washington, D.C., but it is not clear if the National Socialist Movement will be participating. Portland Police is conducting an internal investigation into its use of force on August 4, which included flash bangs, after a June 30 rally there turned into a riot, sending at least four to area hospitals by ambulance.

On Aug. 12, 2017, Heather Heyer was killed when a vehicle plowed into a crowd at the rally, organized by Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler. It's since been lifted, but there have been multiple marches to the downtown area - in one case, demonstrators threatened to knock the Robert E. Lee statue to the ground. One resident, Anne McKeithen, tells Debbie she plans to leave town.

"This puts M.P.D.in a very precarious position", Newsham said, adding that officers will be "on high alert for anyone carrying a firearm". "It's just too frightening to be here, not knowing what might happen". They spoke at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, where leaders urged a message of peace and inclusiveness, and noted that houses of worship and community centers would be open across the city for people wishing to contemplate a more uplifting message.

Charlottesville's Interim City Manager Mike Murphy said officials at the University of Virginia, the city of the Charlottesville and Albemarle County are working together this weekend to "to keep our city safe from violence".

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