Donald Trump condemns racism on anniversary of violent Charlottesville alt-right rally

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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.

The rally is timed for the one-year anniversary of the first Unite the Right in Charlottesville, Virginia, which devolved into chaos and violence resulting in the death of a counter-protester.

He called for the nation to "come together" after a week in which he stoked racial divisions with attacks on black athletes and other minorities. But, he added, "The state police is fully prepared to act on any inciteful violence". "Peace to ALL Americans!" the president tweeted.

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 previous year, is restricting access to parts of its campus.

Students say they're disgusted with the school because it didn't waive medical feels for last year's rally victims.

In the downtown shopping district this morning, officers outnumbered visitors.

Concrete barriers and metal fences were put up and police were searching bags at checkpoints.

Amid criticism for his original comment, Trump delivered a statement at the White House two days later that seemed to walk back his earlier remark and specifically called out racist groups.

State and local authorities framed this weekend's heightened security as a necessary precaution, but some community activists are concerned the measures could be a counterproductive overreaction.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, was struck and killed when a white supremacist slammed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters.

University of Virginia students will hold a rally for justice on Saturday night, on the anniversary of the white supremacist tiki-torch march through their campus.

U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy criticized the performance of Charlottesville officials and the state police, saying they "failed to "stand up" to protect human life".

Activists gathered in Charlottesville on the anniversary of last year's deadly white supremacist rally. A state police helicopter later crashed, killing two troopers.

Permits for protests have been granted in different parts of Washington, D.C., with the Unite the Right organizers planning to march from a Metro station to Lafayette Square Park, directly opposite the White House.

Nineteen others were injured in the clash during a "Unite the Right" rally on August 12, 2017.

"People are welcome into the community, people are invited into the community", she said.

The president's tweet comes ahead of planned events to mark the one-year anniversary August 12 of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally, an event where protesters gathered, some in opposition to the removal of Confederate statues, others in support of white supremacy.

Antifa's counter-protest website shutitdowndc.org is calling on members to "mass", mobilize against white nationalist groups at Freedom Plaza, close by to where the Unite the Right 2 rally will be held.

Bowser said she recently spoke with an elderly Washington, D.C., resident who told her she was afraid.

Stern and other state, county and city officials said to expect large numbers of law enforcement officers in and around Charlottesville as part of a large-scale, multiagency safety and security plan to head off violence.

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