WASHINGTON D.C. – The same man who organized the violent and ultimately deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA., one year ago is the organizer of what he calls a “White Civil Rights” rally scheduled for Sunday in Washington D.C.
KARK 4 Washington Correspondent Drew Petrimoulx reports on preparations in the nation’s capital and efforts to make sure the events are peaceful and safe.
On Friday, visitors enjoyed a sunny, relaxing day at Lafayette Park just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.
But by Sunday a different scene is expected.
The same group that sparked violent protest one year ago in Charlottesville Virginia is heading for DC this weekend. The event called ‘United the Right 2’ marks the anniversary of the Charlottesville Rally. Organizers say it’s a white civil rights gathering.
Counter protesters are also planning to rally, renouncing the group.
Washington DC Police Chief Peter Newsham says the department is ready.
“The law allows for first amendment assemblies of any kind. The law does not allow for injuries to persons or destruction of property,” says Chief of Police Peter Newsham.
Law enforcement in Washington has vast experience managing security during demonstrations. Their plan to prevent violence on Sunday is to construct buffer zones — keeping the two groups apart and allowing police to move through the park quickly.
Police also instituted a temporary policy making it illegal to carry guns in and around the demonstration area.
Law enforcement worked for months coordinating plans between multiple agencies and officials are confident they have a plan to keep the peace.
Alabama Senator Doug Jones says he hopes that is what happens.
“I respect anybody’s first amendment right if they want to do that but don’t come here and cause trouble. Just come here say your piece and get the hell outta here,” says Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).