1,000 gather to protest white nationalists' rally in DC


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

More than 1,000 protesters gathered by midafternoon today in Freedom Plaza near the White House to rally against a white nationalist demonstration scheduled for later in the day.

The demonstration is being held on the first anniversary of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent and led to the death of a counterprotester.

Makia Green, who represents the Washington branch of Black Lives Matter, told today’s crowd that: “We know from experience that ignoring white nationalism doesn’t work.”

The counterprotesters plan to march to Lafayette Square in front of the White House, just before the arrival of the white nationalists. Police have erected a maze of barricades to keep the two sides apart.

The counterprotesters are expected to far outnumber the white nationalists.

Meanwhile, the mother of a woman killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally last summer has visited the site of the attack to mark the anniversary of her daughter’s death.

Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, embraced supporters Sunday in downtown Charlottesville. At one point, she asked the crowd to raise their fists in solidarity, and she laid flowers at a makeshift memorial.

Bro said there’s still “so much healing to do.” She said the city and the country have a “huge racial problem” and that if it’s not fixed, “we’ll be right back here in no time.”

Bro also said the day was about more than just her daughter. She recognized the other victims of the attack, which injured dozens of people, and thanked the two Virginia state troopers killed in a helicopter crash for their sacrifice.

Lt. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates died when their helicopter crashed while deployed as part of the response to last year’s violence.

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