Hundreds of white nationalists will gather at Lafayette Square in Washington, DC on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of last August’s controversial Charlottesville rally where a woman was killed when a car driven by one of the alt-right protesters purposely drove into a crowd.
Jason Kessler, a prominent white nationalist (aka NAZI), is organizing the rally, which begins with a march at 5 p.m. and continues with speakers in Lafayette Square from 5:30 to 7:30.
“White people should be able to have the same rights as other groups,” he said, referencing what he sees as civil rights abuses by the Charlottesville government against white nationalist demonstrators, and against white people more generally
Meanwhile Donald Trump is trying to distance himself from the rally which is made up of his most ardent supporters.
The Hill reports:
President Trump on Saturday tweeted that he condemns “all types of racism and acts of violence” ahead of the one-year anniversary of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Trump has been under intense pressure to condemn last year’s violence and speak out against white supremacists organizing an anniversary rally set to take place on Sunday.
The president faced significant criticism over his response to the white supremacist rally last August that left one counter-protestor dead, saying that there was “blame” as well as “very fine people” on “both sides” of the rally.
Washington, D.C. has promised tight security for Sunday. According to Police Chief Peter Newsham, guns will be banned from the premises – even for those who hold permits – and the white nationalists will be kept separate from the counter-protesters for which more than 20 different groups have vowed will be there.
Counter protests will begin with a 2:00 p.m. rally in Freedom Plaza. Then, counter protesters will proceed to Lafayette Square, where they’ve obtained permits to demonstrate on the north side, face-to-face with Kessler’s rally. The Metropolitan Police Department Tuesday issued a traffic advisory for road closures on Sunday due to “first amendment activities.”
Organizers say they expect about 1,000 counter-protesters, and the white nationalists could be vastly outnumbered.
To all our readers who will be in Washington, DC this weekend we beg you to be diligent about your safety and avoid physical confrontations at all cost.