Virginia governor declares state of emergency for 1-year anniversary of Charlottesville protests

Virginia governor declares state of emergency for 1-year anniversary of Charlottesville protests


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville have declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of the violent Unite the Right rally.

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In August 2017, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when she was struck by a car that had plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters. Two Virginia State troopers were also killed that weekend when their helicopter crashed into woods nearby.

Virginia governor declares state of emergency for 1-year anniversary of Charlottesville protests  Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Peter Cvjetanovic marches with white nationalists and far right extremists as they encircle the base of a Thomas Jefferson statue after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 11, 2017.

Multiple events are planned in the Charlottesville area from Friday through Sunday to mark the anniversary of the rally, Northam’s office said.

Northam asked residents to “make alternative plans to engaging with planned demonstrations of hate.”

“Virginia continues to mourn the three Virginians who lost their lives in the course of the demonstrations a year ago,” Northam said. “We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully.”

Virginia governor declares state of emergency for 1-year anniversary of Charlottesville protests  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE
White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the KKK and members of the “alt-right” attack each other as a counter protester (R) intervenes during the melee outside Emancipation Park during the Unite the Right rally, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.

Resources from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Health and Virginia National Guard will be present in Charlottesville over the weekend. The declaration will also allocate $2 million to pay for the response, according to the governor’s office.

Last year, a group of white nationalists descended onto Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally, spurred by the city’s plans to remove a Confederate statue from a local park.

Hundreds of counterprotesters clashed with the rally attendees, causing violent brawls to break out in the street, prompting then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency.

Virginia governor declares state of emergency for 1-year anniversary of Charlottesville protests  Ryan M. Kelly/Daily Progress via Pulitzer.org, FILE
A vehicle plows into a group of protesters marching along 4th Street NE at the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Va., on the day of the Unite the Right rally, Aug. 12, 2017.

Heyer was killed and several others injured when a driver plowed through a crowd of counterprotesters.



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