Donald Trump condemns racism on anniversary of violent Charlottesville alt-right rally

Maryland, DC Prepare For Unite The Right Rally

Washington, D.C., prepares for potential showdown at white-supremacist...

Last year's protests in Charlottesville on Aug 11 saw hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathizers, accompanied by rifle-carrying men, chanting white nationalist and anti-Jewish slogans while wielding flaming torches - scenes reminiscent of racist rallies held before the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

In Washington on Saturday evening, almost two dozen police officers patrolled Lafayette Square. In addition, Gov. Ralph Northam declared in a state of emergency in the city and ordered the Virginia National Guard to be on standby should any riots arise.

"Nothing would excite us any better than for this to be noneventful and folks to go home and it be a peaceful weekend for all", Settle said.

The day's death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter that had been monitoring the event and assisting with the governor's motorcade crashed, killing two troopers. An extensive review identified "gaps" in planning and communication among agencies, culminating in this year's plan, Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney said. It didn't make sense previous year, and it doesn't make sense now.

It is that image that stays with former UVA student Kendall King, who was counter-protesting that night.

Trump's daughter Ivanka, a White House aide, was more explicit in her condemnation of the "ugly display of hatred, racism, bigotry & violence" a year ago at Charlottesville.

"I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence", Trump wrote.

Though speeches at the rally aren't scheduled to begin until 5:30 p.m., some counterprotesters plan to start hours earlier, and police will start closing downtown streets at 8 a.m., mainly around the White House and into Foggy Bottom.

However, most sights will be set on Washington, DC, where white nationalists are once again planning a "Unite the Right" rally, which a year ago ended in tragedy in Charlottesville.

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Charlottesville's intense security plan for the anniversary weekend has been greeted with mixed reactions from residents.

"It's nice that they're here to protect us", said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at a shop that sells artwork, jewelry, and other items.

Other businesses have taken similar approaches and have said they will deny services to attendees of the Unite the Right rally.

"We are unstoppable, another world is possible", "We remember Heather Heyer" and "Black Lives Matter".

Counterprotesters are expected to include members of antifa, an anti-fascist group, some of whose members rampaged through parts of the District on Inauguration Day employing "black bloc" tactics of breaking windows and setting fires. "Well, guess what? You just magnified her.' - drawing a standing ovation from the crowd".

'We have a number of techniques to keep them separate, ' Newsham said.

"I felt the need to be here and support the businesses", Falzer said as she ate lunch at a diner on Main Street. "They are reclaiming that space because past year white supremacists came with their torches and took over that part of campus".

"We still have a lot of things to do in this city", said King. He said then that there were "good people on both sides", and later "blame on both sides".

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