Only 30 people representing a loose coalition of groups including white supremacists and neo-Nazis appeared for a rally in Washington, D.C., on the one-year anniversary of the deadly clash in Charlottesville, Va. Hundreds of police were on duty in Charlottesville itself on Sunday.
Police and counterprotesters significantly outnumbered a small group of “Unite the Right” participants Sunday in Washington, D.C., at a rally on the one-year anniversary of the clash in Charlottesville, Va., that left one person dead, reports Politico. About 30 rallygoers, representing a loose coalition of groups including white supremacists and neo-Nazis, arrived in Vienna, Va., and took a public transit train into the city, where they headed to Lafayette Square across the street from the White House. A sea of counterprotesters met the group during the hourlong gathering. Dozens of police officers were in the area, some on horseback. The far-right group had a permit to protest in the park until 7:30 p.m. but left shortly after 5 p.m., as it began to rain. Some protesters threw eggs at police officers. Chants of “Go home Nazis” echoed through the park. Jason Kessler, who organized the Unite the Right event, said he did not care about the low turnout, commenting, “We had to prove the point we could do this rally and people would be safe.”
At last year’s rally, participants, who were protesting the planned removal of a Confederate statue, had violent clashes with opposition groups. The tensions came to a head when a man allegedly rammed his car into a group of protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The man, James Fields of Ohio, has been charged with a federal hate crime. A report after last year’s deadly protest found police were unprepared when white nationalists converged on the college town. It appeared police took a different approach Sunday afternoon, with hundreds of officers in locations throughout the city, some wearing riot gear including helmets. At a protest led by University of Virginia students in Charlottesville on Saturday night, police also wore riot gear.