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Trump condemns 'all types of racism' on Charlottesville anniversary; critics slam wording

White supremacists and their opponents descend on Washington

Far-right groups and counterprotesters are expected to converge on the nation's capital Sunday, one year after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one person dead and elevated racial tensions in America. The group came together in direct response to white nationalists who gathered in Charlottesville for a "Unite the Right" rally on August 12, 2017.

He then condemned all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!'

During the rally, a young neo-Nazi rammed his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 people.

The mother of Heather Heyer, who died past year when a white nationalist slammed his auto into counter-protesters in Charlottesville, has urged people to stay peaceful as Washington DC readies itself for Unite the Right 2.

The president infamously blamed protesters "on many sides" for the conflict instead of specifically criticizing the racist sentiment that spurred the tragedy.

Trump unleashed a furious backlash a year ago when he engaged in jaw-dropping moral equivalence, saying there were "very fine people, on both sides" (meaning both Nazi sympathizers and anti-Nazi protesters) and later claiming there was "blame on both sides".

More than 200 marched to another part of campus, where many shouted at a line of officers.

Police mobilises hundreds of officers as anti-fascist activists rally peacefully in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia to mark the anniversary of last summer's white supremacist violence.

In addition, two police officers died in a helicopter crash while they were monitoring the protests.

Demonstrators opposed to a far-right rally gather at Lafayette Park opposite the White House  AFP
Demonstrators opposed to a far-right rally gather at Lafayette Park opposite the White House AFP

A group of protesters known as "Antifa", or anti-fascists, mourn at the site of a makeshift memorial where Heather Heyer was killed a year ago August 11, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Another 18 percent say race relations have stayed about the same since Trump became president previous year.

Now, the anniversary today of the Unite the Right rally and counterprotests on August 12, 2017, could test the president's leadership. As a result, authorities had a brief confrontation with the students.

"He's not, in my view, a racist by any stretch of the imagination", said Senator Lindsey Graham, (R), who was critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign but has become a staunch ally.

"The security looks good, everything looks in place", Thurston Brock, who lived outside of Charlottesville in Barboursville, said. "You let it go and you're OK until the next one comes", she said.

Videos from the march show police in neon riot gear flanking peaceful protesters on all sides as they march through the streets.

The declarations enable law enforcement to access state resources, including the National Guard, if unrest breaks out at events in and around Charlottesville and outside Washington, where a "Unite the Right 2" rally is set to occur.

"We all have a responsibility to stand up to hate", Bro said this week.

"There will certainly be provocateurs trying to get a reaction out of you by trying to stick cameras in peoples' faces, yelling, etc", the Unite the Right website stated.

Saturday marked the anniversary of a nighttime march by torch-toting white supremacists through the University of Virginia's campus a day ahead of a larger rally in Charlottesville's downtown.