Virginia governor declares emergency ahead of Charlottesville anniversary

WHSV file image of a line of Virginia State Police troopers at the

Charlottesville and parts of Northern Virginia will be under a state of emergency through the weekend because of possible unrest on the one-year anniversary of a white supremacist rally that left one person dead. "We see you, we are with you, and we hope our demonstrations of love across this city over the weekend gives you just a sliver of the comfort your deserve for standing on the front lines in a battle against hatred, bigotry, anti-Semitism and anti-supremacy".

The National Park Service said Wednesday it issued a permit for a rally in Lafayette Park by Unite the Right.

Thomas Jefferson statue was also sealed off and guarded Friday night, as the university tightened security for the "morning of reflection".

Attendees of "Unite the Right 2", a follow-up to the controversial far-right protest a year ago, have been told to bring Confederate flags, wear body cameras and expect to be provoked. There are no official far-right protests planned in town this weekend, but the city's downtown area has been closed to traffic, and the University of Virginia, where hundreds of white supremacists marched with flaming torches past year, is restricting access to parts of its campus.

After authorities had forced the clashing crowds of of white supremacists and counterprotesters to disperse, a auto plowed into a crowd, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer.

In the year since Charlottesville, there has been resistance from the Republican- controlled state legislature to let cities remove Confederate monuments, which is a key issue in Charlottesville (2017 file photo).

Charlottesville had been in a months-long battle over what to do with a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, who led the Confederate army during the Civil War.

Republican Rep. Tom Garrett said Saturday that he was told during a briefing with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director thatRussian meddling played in a role in "fomenting the flames of what happened in Charlottesville", Virginia, one year ago, when a white nationalist rally turned violent and resulted in the death of a counterprotester.

Charlottesville has refused to grant a permit for another "Unite the Right" rally, after last year's event devolved into violence when police ended up pushing together white nationalists and "antifa" counter-protesters, instead of separating them.

Earlier this week, Governor Ralph Northam and the City of Charlottesville declared states of emergency for the city and the Commonwealth as a whole. The order also allows Virginia National Guard to assist in security efforts.

A city spokesperson told the TV station there will be 1,000 law enforcement officers working in the Charlottesville area this weekend. It discourages marchers from staying with strangers or telling them about the march.

Among the safety measures are restrictions to parking and access to the downtown area, and restrictions to what participants can bring to an event.

A number of downtown business owners told WHSV's sister station, WCAV, that the response seems like "overkill" from the state trying to make up for what happened a year ago.

"We have learned many lessons from the tragic events of August 12, 2017".

Airbnb made the same announcement ahead of last year's deadly Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville.

"Law enforcement's goal during the entire operational period will be to keep the two groups separated", said Metropolitan Police Department chief Peter Newsham.

"Everywhere I went, they knew who I was", Reeve told Yahoo News.

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