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Washington DC braces for white supremacist rally outside White House

Washington DC braces for white supremacist rally outside White House

President Donald Trump on Saturday acknowledged the grim anniversary of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly previous year - and is regarded as one of the worst weeks in his presidency.

Donald Trump sparked outrage last year by repeatedly condemning "both sides" for the violence last year in Charlottesville.

"We must come together as a nation". Peace to ALL Americans!'

It was a departure from his comments a year ago in which he said "very fine people" were among the white supremacists in Charlottesville, prompting a political firestorm that lasted for days and culminated in an infamous press conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in NY.

During the rally, a young neo-Nazi rammed his auto into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 people. Virginia state troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates also lost their lives when their helicopter crashed as they were monitoring the rally.

The most intense moments occurred in the evening at the University of Virginia campus at the "Rally for Justice", where a group of some 200 Antifa activists shouted at riot police lines, "Black Lives Matter!" and "No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA!".

Unite the Right 2 will take place Sunday afternoon in Lafayette Park in front of the White House and mark the one year anniversary of Charlottesville.

Charlottesville police, he said, were criticized for "failing to keep the two groups separate".

Authorities have promised an enormous police presence to keep both sides apart and avoid the street brawls that broke out previous year in downtown Charlottesville.

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.

Back in Washington, DC, as counterprotesters prepared for Sunday's rallies, Shut It Down DC's Young said it was important for people show up in some way to show solidarity, adding that there are opportunities to get involved, including cooking for counter-demonstrators, providing emotional support or showing up in the streets.

The white supremacist rally is scheduled to end at 7:30 p.m.

"We want to see students, activists and members of the global community rising up to fight fascism in their universities, local communities, and all institutions that uphold white supremacy and fascism", Majuto said.

"It's nice that they're here to protect us", said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at Ten Thousand Villages, a shop that sells artwork, jewelry, and other items.

The mother of Heather Heyer visited the site in Charlottesville, Virginia, where her daughter was killed a year ago and urged supporters to keep up her daughter's fight against racial inequities. After last year's deadly event, several far-right groups sought to distant themselves from the alt-right.

Tributes to Heyer on Sunday came as anti-racist protesters gathered in Washington, counter an event spearheaded by Jason Kessler, the man behind last year's violent white supremacist demonstrations.

"That's exactly what Heather would say, 'quit looking at me, look at the issues, '" Bro said.

Trump's tweet on Saturday faced criticism on social media as some jumped on the his wording of "all types of racism", after his claim previous year that "both sides" were responsible for the violence.

Anniversary events this year in Charlottesville have been largely peaceful.