DC, Charlottesville on edge as white nationalists prepare to rally

DC, Charlottesville on edge as white nationalists prepare to rally

Tension gripped Washington, DC, and Charlottesville, Va., ahead of the “Unite the Right 2” rally, scheduled for Sunday in the nation’s capital on the anniversary of last year’s deadly demonstration in the Virginia city.

In Washington, hundreds of extra law-enforcement officers were brought in for the rally, promoted by white supremacist and anti-Semite Jason Kessler.

He moved the event to the nation’s capital after Charlottesville denied a permit. Participants plan to march from Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood to Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House.

Kessler’s application said he expected up to 400 people to attend the rally.

They will likely be dwarfed by the number of counter-protestors, who plan to march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, where scheduled speakers include NYC congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Saturday in Charlottesville, the downtown area was virtually locked down, with more than 700 officers on hand to ensure there would be no violence. No cars were permitted in the central business area, and pedestrians had to pass through security checkpoints before they could enter.

At least two people were arrested, according to the Charlottesville police. One was John Miska, a bearded, tie-dye-wearing man who was busted after he purchased razor blades at a downtown drugstore. Miska is known for trying last year to remove the shroud covering the Robert E. Lee statue at the epicenter of the original rally. A second person was nabbed for trespassing after repeatedly trying to enter the restricted area.

Several dozen demonstrators from the so-called “antifa,” or anti-fascist, movement marched to the spot where Heather Heyer was killed last year when a man linked to white supremacist groups rammed his car into counter-protestors.

Early Saturday, President Trump noted the anniversary with a tweet.

“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” he stated. “We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”

Trump came under heavy criticism, including from Republicans, for initially refusing last year to explicitly condemn white supremacists. He said then that there were “good people on both sides,” and later “blame on both sides.”

With Post Wire Services

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