Washington is bracing for a white nationalist rally that law enforcement agencies will try to prevent from descending into a melee like the one in Charlottesville, Virginia, that cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency a year ago.
Marking the anniversary on Saturday, Trump condemned “all types of racism and acts of violence,” a shift from his widely-criticized equivocation of 2017.
Permits for Sunday’s “Unite the Right 2” rally indicated that about 400 demonstrators are expected in Lafayette Square, a park adjacent to the White House. More than 1,500 counter-protesters plan to gather at various downtown locations, including in the same park.
In August 2017, white supremacist demonstrators and counterprotesters squared off in violent clashes in Charlottesville, site of the University of Virginia. The conflict culminated in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, when James Alex Fields Jr., whose social media accounts included posts espousing white supremacy, purposely drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.
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