President Donald Trump on Saturday acknowledged the grim anniversary of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly previous year - and is regarded as one of the worst weeks in his presidency.
The city is expecting large crowds to honor Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old killed when a vehicle rammed into a packed street of counter-protesters in downtown Charlottesville on August 12 2017.
Trump ignited one of the biggest firestorms of criticism of his presidency over his response to the violent "Unite the Right" rally, in which he drew a moral equivalence between the white supremacists and neo-Nazis that descended on the college town and those who protested against them.
"Some of our members are concerned about safety for their staff and guests and came to us with questions as we are a resource for the restaurant community".
In a tweet over the weekend, Trump said he condemned "all types of racism and acts of violence".
President Trump urges peace for all Americans one year after the deadly incidents in Charlottesville.
Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor and Black Lives Matter Charlottesville organizer, told the Associated Press that police are mounting a "huge, overwhelming show of force to compensate for last year's inaction". States of emergency were declared Wednesday for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Charlottesville. Government and police officials in Washington have expressed confidence the city can manage the events without violence; the mayor and police chief have promised a massive security mobilization to keep protesters and counter-protesters apart.
"Last year, I was afraid of the Nazis". The conflict culminated in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, when James Alex Fields Jr., whose social media accounts included posts espousing white supremacy, purposely drove his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters. 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.
One year ago, white supremacists led a surprise torch march at UVA.
Two Virginia state troopers who were monitoring the rally were later killed in the line of duty when their helicopter crashed.
Throughout the day, only three people were arrested on misdemeanor charges, one for trespassing, one for disorderly conduct and one for possessing a prohibited item, the city said.
Kessler had applied for a permit to hold his anniversary rally in Charlottesville, and had sued the city when they denied him the permit, but he dropped his battle with the city in late July.
"You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides", Trump had said.
On Aug. 12, hundreds of white nationalists - including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members - descended on Charlottesville in part to protest the city's decision chose to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park.
Mr. Trump faced bipartisan criticism for his response in the aftermath of the unrest previous year.