Virginia governor declares emergency ahead of Charlottesville anniversary


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.

The violence in Charlottesville began once rally participants and counter-protesters clashed and a man drove a vehicle into a group of counter-protesters.

A state of emergency has been declared in Charlottesville as the city prepares for events surrounding the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally.

Last year's rally did not come with conversations and many peaceful demonstrations, however.

Northam's office informed that from Friday through Sunday, several events are planned in the Charlottesville area to mark the anniversary of the rally.

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 vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters.

Two Virginia State Police officers also died in a helicopter crash while assisting police activity related the the rally.

Multiple counter-protests are also scheduled to take place in the area.

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In a report from USA Today, Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle said more than 700 state police will be activated during the weekend and "state police is fully prepared to act" to prevent any incidents like previous year.

Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer, said police are mounting a "huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year's inaction".

Bowser is outlining her security plans for the Unite the Right Rally.

"Our role is to make sure we have a First Amendment event that goes on without any types of violence or destruction of property", Newsham said, according to CNN affiliate WTOP.

"We are not going there looking for anything negative to happen, but we plan to be prepared", said Eugene Puryear of ANSWER Coalition. "We the people of Washington, D.C. say unequivocally that we denounce hate, we denounce, that we denounce anti-Semitism and we denounce the rhetoric that we expect to hear this Sunday".

"The group is by and large a lot younger than me and very diverse in many ways, not just demographics but also political orientations and approach to protest", Lance said.

The march will start at a Metro station near the Capitol at 5pm and end with a demonstration in Lafayette Square Park that sits directly opposite from the White House.

Washington officials said on Thursday that police were ready for the rally as well as five planned counterprotests that could attract close to 2,000 people in all. 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.