Officials in Washington, D. C., are implementing tight security measures in anticipation of Sunday’s “Unite the Right 2” rally and ensuing counter-protests marking the…
Officials in Washington, D. C., are implementing tight security measures in anticipation of Sunday’s “Unite the Right 2” rally and ensuing counter-protests marking the one-year anniversary of a deadly white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Va.
D. C. Police chief Peter Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Thursday announced the measures including banning guns from the rallies — even for gun owners with legal permits — and separating protesters and counter-protesters.
“The rules are pretty simple,” Newsham said. “Don’t hurt anyone and don’t break anything.”
“We have people coming to our city for the sole purpose of spewing hate. We denounce hate, we denounce anti-Semitism, and we denounce the rhetoric we expect to hear this Sunday,” she said at a local synagogue.
White nationalists gathered in Charlottesville one year ago to protest the removal of a statue of Confederal General Robert E. Lee. Clashes with counter-protesters erupted soon after, leading to multiple injuries.
James Alex Fields Jr., an Ohio man with neo-Nazi ties, allegegly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Two Virginia state troopers also died when their surveillance helicopter crashed near the protests.
Fields was indicted on one federal count of a hate crime resulting in Heyer’s death, 28 counts of hate crimes for causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill and one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) has announced a state of emergency for Charlottesville and parts of Northern Virginia in anticipation of the anniversary.
“Virginia continues to mourn the three Virginians who lost their lives in the course of the demonstrations a year ago. We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully,” he said in a press release.