Counterprotesters dwarf white supremacists in Washington

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Susan Bro mother to Heather Heyer speaks during a memorial for her daughter last year

13 August, 2018

Large groups of counterprotesters rallied in the nation's capital on Sunday ahead of a white nationalist rally marking the anniversary of clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one person dead and elevated racial tensions in America.

Demonstrators march on the campus of the University of Virginia in anticipation of the anniversary of last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. We must come together as a nation, ' he wrote on Saturday morning.

"Peace to ALL Americans!" he tweeted.

Reflecting on the "Unite the Right" rally one year ago, Bro said on "AC360", "Those of us who weren't paying attention, sadly, that was a big shock".

As the one year anniversary of the deadly white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia approaches, friends and family of Heather Heyer-the paralegal and progressive activist mowed down by a Nazi who drove his vehicle into a crowd-honored her memory.

Two Virginia state troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates, also died during the white nationalist rally.

Before past year, when white supremacists staged violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, a wealthy university town, many white Americans did not take the threat of neo-Nazi groups seriously.

Organized by Unite the Right - the same network that called last year's protest in Charlottesville, Virginia - Sunday's rally will once again see the extremists stand face-to-face with anti-fascists, who are staging a counter protest. Police officers cleared a path through the counterprotesters for the group to march through on their way to Lafayette Park outside the White House.

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Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he condemns "all types of racism and acts of violence", appealing for unity.

"I will not serve anyone who has any kind of hate in their heart or obvious hate on this weekend or ever", Chef Brian Hill said.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal and activist, was killed amid last year's violence in Charlottesville. "Instead, he is planning a "white civil rights" event in Washington, D.C., on Sunday".

Charlottesville is bracing for what may come this weekend on the first anniversary of the deadly rally. Virginia knows hate and division from its past, and we've spoken out to say we will not be dragged backwards.

"There is a beloved community here, but it's been broken the a year ago", Kathy Spaar said.

The tweet appeared to echo his equivocations after last year's violence when he blamed "many sides" for the violence and said there were "very fine people" on both sides.

The 2018 Unite the Right Rally will be held in the nation's capital and is expected to draw various extremist groups, potentially including some of the white supremacist and white nationalist organizations present in Charlottesville past year.

Outraged by the local response to the violence last August, Walker ran as an independent candidate for city council but ended up becoming the first African-American female mayor of Charlottesville, taking office less than five months after the rally of white nationalists gripped her community.

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