On Saturday President Donald Trump condemned “all types of racism” and called for national unity a year after Charlottesville’s deadly neo-Nazi rally and a new white supremacist rally scheduled for Sunday in Washington.
“The Charlottesville rally a year ago led to death and senseless divisions,” tweeted Donald Trump, who was heavily criticized last year for never clearly condemning neo-Nazi protesters after the protests.
“We have to come together as a nation,” he added. “Peace to all Americans!” He wrote again.
A year ago, the Unite the Right Network was given permission to hold a rally in Charlottesville, Va., To protest the municipality’s plan to unseal a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
At the end of this rally, clashes erupted between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators.
A neo-Nazi sympathizer then drove into the crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, and injuring 19 others.
Virginia Democrat Mark Warner on Saturday accused President Trump of allowing white nationalists to “spread hate.”
These purveyors of hatred and sectarianism were encouraged to get their message across by a president who had refused to categorically and unequivocally condemn them.
Virginia Democrat Senator Mark Warner in a tweet
For the first anniversary of these events, “Unite the Right” has scheduled a new rally on Sunday, but this time in Washington, near the White House.
Counter-demonstrations are planned in the same square Lafayette, in front of the presidential residence.
An important police device will be put in place, mainly to prevent the two groups from coming into contact.
“We know that on Sunday people will come to our city for the sole purpose of pouring their hatred,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, saying it was not about preventing the event because the first amendment to the US Constitution protects freedom of expression.
The license that was granted to “Unite the Right” provides for 400 protesters.
Dialog with the left
Initiator of last year’s event, Jason Kessler had asked to parade back to Charlottesville, but the municipality refused.
In an interview with a NPR public radio reporter broadcast on Friday, he expressed the hope that Sunday’s event “will be peaceful” and publicly distanced itself from the neo-Nazi movement.
I do not want neo-Nazis at my gathering, they are not welcome.
Jason Kessler, Initiator of Unite the Right Event Last Year in Charlottesville
“I hope it will be calm,” he said of the event, “and after that I will be able to discuss or debate with representatives of Black Lives Matter or the anti-fascist movements. because I think we need to have this dialogue. ”
In Charlottesville, although no rallies of any kind are allowed this weekend, the authorities have taken significant security measures, after being overwhelmed during the clashes of August 12, 2017.
Virginia Governor Ralph Nortam declared a state of emergency and the pedestrian precinct in downtown Charlottesville, where the events of last year took place, was surrounded by concrete barricades and cars. with only two points of entry for pedestrians.
The cut right
On the social network Gab, known to be a haven for many netizens of the hard right, many messages criticized the rally planned Sunday and called not to go there, saying it was a tense trap by leftist organizations.
A few hours before the second show of force of “Unite the Right”, Twitter suspended the account of the far-right group Proud Boys, which Jason Kessler was a member, as well as that of its founder Gavin McInnes, accused of violation of the rules of the social network.
Earlier this week, Apple, YouTube, Spotify and Facebook had suspended accounts of conspiracyist Alex Jones , close to the far right, accused of having made a hate speech and breaking the rules of these platforms.
Many observers accuse Donald Trump of having favored, during his campaign and since his electoral victory, the emergence of a white supremacist speech uninhibited.
In a book that will be published shortly, former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman assures that the former property developer has repeatedly used the word ” nigger ” (negro) during the recording of his former show The Apprentice .
Allegations that were vigorously denied Friday by the White House.