However, Kessler dropped his lawsuit last week and vowed to forge ahead with plans for a "white civil rights" rally Sunday in Washington, D.C.
At the press conference, Wheeler also announced that pedestrian restrictions will be established downtown, requiring individuals to enter the area through one of two law enforcement operated access points - at the intersections of First Street South and Water Street and at Second Street Southeast and Water Street. Officials said Wednesday's declaration would streamline state and local operations this weekend while also allocating $2 million in state funds.
A Virginia State Police officer in riot gear keeps watch from the top of an armored vehicle after auto plowed through a crowd of counter-demonstrators marching through the downtown shopping district on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer, said police are mounting a "huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year's inaction". That weekend, two Virginia State troopers were also killed as their helicopter crashed into a nearby forests.
Asked about his immediate response Saturday, Trump quickly went on to blame both sides for the conflict, adding that there were "very fine people" among both the white supremacists and the counter-protesters.
The security measures come as the city is bracing for what may be to come on the one-year anniversary of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally.
"I don't know exactly what will happen, but it probably will not be good", tweeted Richard Spencer, a leader of the so-called "alt-right" movement, who said he would be staying away from the rally.
"Permits were issued this morning for Jason Kessler and ANSWER Coalition and will be posted on the National Park Service Freedom of Information Act website as soon as the [Freedom of Information Act] officer has reviewed them and applied any necessary redactions", said Mike Litterst, the chief of communications for the NPS, said in a statement on Thursday. It was set up to protest the city's plan to get rid of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
On the eve of last year's rally, torch-toting white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia's campus, shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. A group of clergy who organize against racism will hold a service of remembrance at the city's First Presbyterian Church on Saturday afternoon. Numerous planned community events will promote peaceful messages, including a gathering in honor of counterprotester Heather Heyer, who was run over by a suspected neo-Nazi sympathizer.
Washington officials say they have a "robust security plan" to keep the D.C. rally and counterprotests from devolving into violence.
Rally organizers cautioned attendees not to react with anger against any counter protesters.
"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", he said.