White nationalists and counterprotesters gathered for separate rallies in Washington, D.C., on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va.
Jason Kessler, the man who organized last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, was set to lead what is being billed as a “white civil rights rally” in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House, later Sunday.
Kessler said he expected fewer attendees than the hundreds of white nationalists and far-right supporters who came to Charlottesville last year. The National Park Service permit said between 100 and 400 people were expected to attend. The parks department also approved several counterprotests to be held nearby, which were expected to draw thousands. D.C. police said they aim to keep the two sides apart to avoid confrontations.
“We’ve seen in the past when these two groups have been in the same area at the same time, it leads to violent confrontations,” said Peter Newsham, the Metropolitan Police Department chief of police.
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