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giftedviz.com August 21, 2018


Heavy security as Charlottesville stores open

12 August 2018, 04:02 | Darnell Patrick

Virginia declares state of emergency ahead of anniversary of violent Charlottesville rally

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

"Today we pause to remember the lives lost, and the lives forever changed, by the violence in Charlottesville a year ago".

"We must come together as a nation". Donald Trump has said he condemns racism, his critics have criticized him and, true to form, someone in Washington found a way to blame the Russians. "Peace to ALL Americans!" he tweeted.

The D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham at a press conference said law enforcement is focused on keeping the groups separate from each other in order to avoid the level of physical violence seen in Charlottesville previous year.

State and local authorities framed the weekend's heightened security as a necessary precaution.

The Downtown Business Association says at least 15 shops down on the mall will be open Saturday.

What resulted was hundreds of violent clashes between white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK members armed with flaming torches and counter protesters.

"One of my hugest gripes with a year ago 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 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.

The "Unite the Right" rally last August, called to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, turned the picturesque Virginia college town into a chaotic scene of street brawls, and one woman was killed when an OH man rammed his auto into a crowd of counterprotesters.

"We are treating this as a statewide event", said Jeffrey Stern, state coordinator of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

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University of Virginia professor Lisa Woolfork says she doesn't know anyone who feels safer because of the increased police presence.

"We love all people and our country", he said from the stage.

Those initial remarks last year came after Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, was struck and killed, in which he omitted any mention of the bigoted hate groups leading the rally.

Two state police personnel - Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates - died in a helicopter crash responding to the scene.

Ryan recalled how a group of students and community members faced off against the white supremacist marchers near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on campus, calling it a "remarkable moment of courage and bravery". A "Rally for Justice" was also scheduled in the evening. The man accused of killing Heyer faces murder and hate crime charges.

The declaration allocates $2 million to pay for this response and authorizes the Virginia National Guard to assign forces to assist in security efforts.

Among the groups attending the counter-demonstrations are Black Lives Matter, a slew of anti-fascist collectives, Smash Racism DC, the International Socialist Organization, the Democratic Socialists of America and several anarchist outfits.

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.

A statement released by Governor Ralph Northam said the objective behind the declaration is "to address the potential impacts of events in and around the City of Charlottesville and outside of Washington, D.C., on August 10-12, 2018".

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville have declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the white nationalist parades and protests set to take place in Charlottesville, Washington DC, and other towns this Sunday.



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