President Trump Issues Statement Ahead of Deadly Charlottesville Anniversary

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Saturday night's rally comes on the heels of the one year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

Downtown Washington was calm Sunday morning, but the relative quiet was not likely to last.

The mother of Heather Heyer, who died previous year when a white nationalist slammed his vehicle into counter-protesters in Charlottesville, has urged people to stay peaceful as Washington DC readies itself for Unite the Right 2.

The security measures seemed to have worked as most of the Saturday's events proceeded in a peaceful manner.

Trump insulted the intelligence of National Basketball Association star LeBron James and CNN anchor Don Lemon, both of whom are black, reignited his crusade against black football players protesting against police brutality and told a group of business leaders that Chinese students studying in the United States were spies.

Both groups have been given permission to demonstrate in separate sections of Lafayette Square, a shady park that looks onto the back of the USA president's residence.

A group anti-fascism demonstrators march in the downtown area in anticipation of the anniversary of last year's Unite the Right rally.

The neo-Nazis are planning to protest in front of the White House, while a coalition of progressive groups has organized an "anti-racist" counter-protest nearby.

Trump's remarks also led to a series of business leaders announcing they would exit a council providing assistance to the administration. "Our goal is to prevent that from happening".

Both Market Street Park, where last year's rally was held, and Court Square Park will be completely fenced off, according to city spokesman Brian Wheeler.

Trump blamed "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, drawing an equivalency between white supremacists and neo-Nazis with the people protesting them.

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Several events were scheduled in the city including a gathering that will include veteran civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton and Susan Bro, the mother of the woman who was killed a year ago.

"This anniversary is also a time to look forward".

Bro said her message to counterdemonstrators in Charlottesville and elsewhere this weekend is, "Keep your wits about you".

A makeshift memorial for Heyer has been started ahead of planned protests.

"I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence", Trump wrote. "Peace to all Americans".

Rally organizers encouraged supporters to bring a United States or Confederate flags, and cautioned not to react angrily to counter protesters.

"Our resistance is ever-growing", she said.

Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organiser, said police are mounting a "huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year's inaction".

Michael Shallal, a member of the D.C. chapter of the International Socialists Organization, one of the groups organizing the Freedom Plaza rally, said it was crucial for protesters to outnumber Kessler and his supporters.

"We are treating this as a statewide event", Jeffrey Stern, state coordinator of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said at a news conference Wednesday. "He's got to address the - the people who are spouting racist-type comments and do racial, racist-type acts".

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