Monday, 20 August, 2018

‘Rally for Justice’ demands justice against white supremacy

Susan Bro mother of Heather Heyer who was killed during last year's Unite the Right rally speaks with reporters at the spot where her daughter was killed in Charlottesville Va. Friday Aug. 10 2018 Maryland, DC Prepare For Unite The Right Rally
Patty Aguilar | 12 August, 2018, 11:18

After last year's deadly Unite the Right rally, in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a Whitman's Sampler of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, paramilitary, and the alt-right got together to spew hate, the white nationalists are doing it all over again this weekend.

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

The president's response to last year's rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, drew intense criticism when he declared at a Trump Tower news conference that there were "very fine people on both sides".

Authorities had carefully planned for Saturday's event in Charlottesville, which a year ago became the scene of the Unite the Right rally's clash with the leftist Antifa protesters.

He then condemned all types of racism and acts of violence. "Peace to ALL Americans!" the president tweeted.

The Spectrum News DC bureau will be covering the Unite the Right rally Sunday, as well as the counter-protests.

This follows a wave of white nationalist events across the country so far this month, including one in Portland and one in Berkeley.

On Saturday morning, the university hosted a "morning of reflection and renewal", with musical performances, a poetry reading and an address from University President James Ryan. The student group said on the event's Facebook page that the rally was meant to "reclaim the North Plaza of the Rotunda and demand justice for those who have suffered at the hands of white supremacy". White nationalists arrived in Charlottesville to demonstrate against the removal of a statue of Confederate icon Robert E. Lee.

All of this ahead of larger rallies planned in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

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The counter-demonstration organized by Lance's Shut It Down D.C. coalition will feature minority, immigrant and other groups targeted by white nationalists, said Lance, "so that people can see overwhelmingly that these folks are unacceptable and are invaders in our town".

The newly installed president of the University of Virginia, James Ryan, apologized for the school's inaction a year ago while speaking at an event to memorialize the anniversary.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counterprotestor, was killed last year when a self-identified Nazi drove a auto through a crowd of demonstrators.

A group of anti-fascist protesters, sometimes known as "Antifa", marched in the afternoon, carrying signs with messages like "Good Night White Pride".

Two Virginia state troopers who were monitoring the rally were later killed in the line of duty when their helicopter crashed.

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

Carlson said police didn't intervene to help her or her friends that night a year ago. Carlson, 22, said she feared for her life when she and a group of her friends were surrounded by the phalanx of young white men at the statue.

Jason Kessler, the primary organiser of last summer's rally, sued the city of Charlottesville after it refused to issue him a permit for another event this weekend.

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