Businesses say they'll refuse service to Unite the Right attendees in DC

State Of Emergency Declared In Charlottesville For 'Unite the Right' Anniversary

The rally organized by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups on August 12, 2017, occurred over the proposed removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from a downtown park, which quickly deteriorated into clashes between members of Confederate-sympathizing groups and Antifa, including other counter-protesters. A second permit for a counter-protest was also issued.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and D.C. declared states of emergency, citing the "potential impacts of events" in the area. Merchants already suffered a downturn after last year's event; sales tax revenue dropped 11 percent in September 2017 compared with the year before, according to city figures.

At a multi-agency press conference Wednesday, Charlottesville Director of Communications Brian Wheeler said well over a thousand public safety and law enforcement personnel will be active in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region this weekend - including over 700 Virginia State troopers, 300 National Guard troops who will be on stand-by and the combined forces of the Charlottesville, Albemarle and U.Va. police departments. James Alex Fields, Jr.is charged with driving his vehicle into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of people.

Charlottesville will have a secured area around downtown with security checkpoints that limit access to pedestrians. "They wanted people to fight so they could deny us our First Amendment rights".

On Sunday, thousands of counter-protesters are slated to attend multiple rallies against white supremacy in Washington, DC.

"Nothing would excite us any better than for this to be noneventful and folks to go home and it be a peaceful weekend for all", Settle said. Events over the decades focused on civil rights, LGBT rights, abortion, ending the Vietnam War and other issues have drawn crowds well into the hundreds of thousands. Jason Kessler, who has helped organize the event for white nationalists, said past year that Airbnb's policy proved that conservative free speech and civil rights were under attack. "We have people coming to our city for the sole goal of spewing hate", Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a briefing today.

The protest and counter protests are scheduled to take place in the early evening on Sunday.

Police are expecting people with the Unite the Right group to travel from the Vienna Metro Station to Foggy Bottom and then head to Lafayette Square.

Schoep also addressed the Charlottesville, Virginia incident and said his group, "acted in self defense ... we are not the ones creating the violence".

"We have learned many lessons from the tragic events of August 12, 2017", said Mike Murphy, Charlottesville's interim city manager. "This year, I'm afraid of the police", Woolfork said. Entrance to the Lawn is limited to Lawn residents and those who have tickets to the Saturday morning event, "The Hope that Summons Us", set for 9 a.m.in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium.

"The group is by and large a lot younger than me and very diverse in many ways, not just demographics but also political orientations and approach to protest", Lance said.

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