Student-led protest 'Rally for Justice' criticizes U.Va., police

Heather Heyer's mother continues her daughter's civil rights advocacy a year after Charlottesville rally

Susan Bro mother to Heather Heyer speaks during a memorial for her daughter last year

Government and police officials in the nation's capital say they are confident the city can manage to host this weekend's planned white nationalist rally without violence. There will be a "Still Here, Still Strong" protest and march by a coalition of groups, including survivors of the Charlottesville vehicle attack; a "Rise Up and Fight Back Counter-Protest", hosted by Black Lives Matter DC; and a Trans and Queer #ResistDance Against White Supremacy.

A protester confronts riot gear-clad police on the campus of the University of Virginia during a rally to mark the anniversary of last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018.

Violent fighting broke out between attendees and counterprotesters. "We have done several trainings with our members and MPD on public safety and security". Trump said in a stunning press conference last August. The speeches were often emotional, and the crowd frequently erupted into chants such as "Chop, chop, chop, chop, this racism crap has got to stop". 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.

"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", he said.

"I'm hoping that I'll engage people in conversations", Martin said. "This is not making anyone that I know feel safe".

Rally participants are likely to be outnumbered by passionate counter-protesters.

Estimates vary on how many white nationalist protesters will show up. "I deeply love my country, I'm deeply disturbed by what I'm seeing these days".

The local chapter of Black Lives Matter is also planning a separate march to the site.

"It's our first protest ever", he said.

Commander, who was with Heyer when she was killed, said, "She is with me today too".

Demonstrators carry banners in front of the Rotunda on the campus of the University of Virginia.

But some 115 miles away in Washington, the principal organizer of last year's "Unite the Right" event was scheduled to hold a so-called white civil rights rally, and police were preparing for crowds of counterprotesters. A white supremacist awaits trial in the case.

Lt. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates died when their helicopter crashed while deployed as part of the response to last year's violence.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and city officials in Charlottesville announced a state of emergency would be in effect Friday through Sunday in that city and parts of Northern Virginia, outside Washington.

President Trump - who has drawn accusations of furthering the racial divide in America - condemned last year's events in Charlottesville in a tweet Saturday morning, saying they "resulted in senseless death and division". "We must come together as a nation".

"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.

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