GOP lawmaker: Russian meddling fanned the flames in Charlottesville

by Garry Watts August 14, 2018, 2:27
GOP lawmaker: Russian meddling fanned the flames in Charlottesville

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.

After last year's event in Charlottesville, Virginia, ended up in violence that resulted in the death of one counter-protester, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington is working with restaurants to help them know how to respond legally to situations, reports The Washingtonian.

These state of emergency declarations will enhance planning and cooperative response efforts that have been in development since March.

Last year's protests in Charlottesville began August 11 and saw hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathizers, accompanied by rifle-carrying men, yelling white nationalist slogans while wielding flaming torches in scenes eerily reminiscent of racist rallies held in America's South before the Civil Rights movement.

Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle said more than 700 state police will be activated during the weekend and "state police is fully prepared to act" to prevent any incidents like previous year.

He told reporters Wednesday that central Charlottesville would be be accessible by only two entry points.

Jason Kessler has vowed to press ahead with plans for an August 12 rally in Washington, D.C., after Charlottesville denied him a permit.

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The City of Charlottesville, Charlottesville Police and all partner agencies involved in safeguarding the Greater Charlottesville Region throughout the weekend continue to remain vigilant in anticipation of planned events.

"[Russia uses] events like this divisive racial fight. and this is the sort of thing they do", Garett said Saturday.

State police and Charlottesville police were unable to communicate by radio the day of the rally because they were on different channels, the report said, and commanders "instructed their officers not to intervene in all but the most serious physical confrontations". Later, a woman was killed when a auto drove into a crowd of people opposing the white nationalists, and dozens more were injured.

Rally organizers cautioned attendees not to react with anger against any counter protesters.

The man accused in that attack, James Alex Fields of OH, has been charged with first-degree murder. After last year's violence, the city asked the state legislature to ban firearms from major public events, but the bill failed to advance.

"The goal of all of law enforcement on that particular day is to make sure no one gets hurt, and nothing gets broken", said D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham.

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