On Charlottesville anniversary, Trump sends a tweet condemning racism

It’s bad and you should feel bad’ NPR blasted for interviewing white nationalist Jason Kessler

Maryland, DC Prepare For Unite The Right Rally

As reported past year, following Heyer's death, "about 1,000 people attended a memorial service for Heyer in Charlottesville".

Trump was heavily criticized, including by Republicans, past year for initially refusing to explicitly condemn the white supremacists who organized and attended the rally.

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

The Virginia State Police has deployed hundreds of troopers to Charlottesville for the August 12 weekend in order to prepare for potential violence. Concrete barriers and metal fences had been erected, and police were searching bags at two checkpoints where people could enter or leave.

"We know what our responsibility is to protect first amendment events, to protect Washingtonians and to protect our city, and we will do just that", DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

After last year's protests, debates erupted on whether or not Confederate monuments should be removed.

Stern and other state, county and city officials said to expect large numbers of law enforcement officers in and around Charlottesville as part of a large-scale, multiagency safety and security plan to head off violence.

Violent fighting broke out between attendees and counter-protesters that day.

Trump past year faced intense backlash when he said "both sides" were culpable for the events in Charlottesville, which ended when a man with alleged neo-Nazi ties drove his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing local resident Heather Heyer and dozens of others. The driver of the vehicle James Alex Fields Jr has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin in November.

Trump drew scorn after the Charlottesville violence for initially avoiding any condemnation of the torch-bearing white nationalists who took part in that rally.

With chants like, "Cops and Klan go hand in hand", the protesters' criticisms of both police and the University of Virginia underscored the resentment that still exists a year after torch-bearing neo-Nazis marched through campus, shouting anti-Semitic messages and beating counterprotesters.

On Saturday, as memorial ceremonies also got under way in Charlottesville, Trump wrote on Twitter: "The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division". We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence.

President Trump is urging "peace to all Americans" as cities across the U.S. are bracing for Unite the Right 2018 marches this weekend.

Jason Kessler, 34, organizer of both the Charlottesville rally and Sunday's demonstration, calls himself a "white civil rights" activist and said his goal is to spark a conversation while keeping everyone safe.

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 group then continued marching, with some members carrying a sign that said, "Good night white pride".

Clara Carlson was one of those counter-protesters. 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.

Two Virginia state troopers also died when their surveillance helicopter crashed near the protests.

The Associated Press reports that police had a brief, tense confrontation with students angry over their heavy presence there this weekend. Many students say they are upset that the university did not warn them about this in advance, especially since it falls as many students are moving in for the new school year.

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