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State Of Emergency Declared Ahead Of 'Unite The Right' Anniversary

State Of Emergency Declared Ahead Of 'Unite The Right' Anniversary

Smaller anniversary events are planned in Charlottesville, ahead of which Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and city officials declared a state of emergency.

After last year's event in Charlottesville, Virginia, ended up in violence that resulted in the death of one counter-protester, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington is working with restaurants to help them know how to respond legally to situations, reports The Washingtonian.

CBS affiliate WCAV-TV says the response efforts have been in development since March.

But the organizer of last year's rally, Jason Kessler, is telling his followers to avoid Charlottesville.

Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle said more than 700 state police will be activated during the weekend and that they are "fully prepared to act" to prevent any incidents like past year. With regard to the security area in downtown Charlottesville, law enforcement personnel will man two entry points for pedestrians seeking to exit the security area.

In the immediate aftermath, US President Donald Trump drew broad criticism when he appeared initially reluctant to condemn the extreme right-wingers - many of whom have rallied behind him since his election, including David Duke, a former KKK leader and avowed racist and anti-Semite who praised Trump's "courage" in defending white nationalist protesters.

"They're trying to make the world safer for kleptocrats and oligarchs and dictators like Putin and they use things like this racial divisive fight - which ignores the commonalities we as Americans have with each other, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion - this is the sort of thing they do", he continued.

The Law Center's outreach director Lecia Brooks told AFP the rally reflected a "continued emboldenment on the part of white nationalists in this country".

A statement released by Governor Ralph Northam said the objective behind the declaration is "to address the potential impacts of events in and around the City of Charlottesville and outside of Washington, D.C., on August 10-12, 2018". James Alex Fields Jr., of OH, faces murder charges in Heyer's death.

Several city officials left their jobs in the months after the rally. The city is planning to establish a "defined security area" downtown where weapons will be banned.

Officers will endeavor to keep the two sides separate, Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said.

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