Virginia has been put under a state of emergency ahead of the one year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville Unite the Right rally held by neo-Nazis’, ABC News reports.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared the state of emergency and asks that residents “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.”
On August 12, hundreds of white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville for a Unite the Right rally. It was set up to protest the city’s plan to get rid of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
A 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into groups of protesters.
President Trump then blamed at least some of the violence on the left.
“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at, as you say, the ‘alt-right?’” Trump said at a Trump Tower presser. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? … You had a group on one side that was bad. And you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now.”
In addition to Heyer’s death, 19 other people were reportedly injured in the violence.
The state has allocated 2 million to pay for the response, and designated resources from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Health and Virginia National Guard to be available in Charlottesville over the weekend, the governor’s office reports.
Heather Heyer’s Mom Speaks
The mother of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was killed at the August 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, is keeping her daughter’s memory alive by sharing the endearing messages and momentous that she receives from the supportive public.
According to the New York Post, every few weeks, Susan Bro walks down 4th Street in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, until she arrives at a brick wall covered in chalked messages like “Love over hate” and “Gone but not forgotten.”
“I come just to absorb the energy of the place,” Bro, 61, said Tuesday as she stood on the block now named in honor of her daughter. She intends to bring flowers to Heather Heyer Way on Aug. 12 before speaking at an event to mark the anniversary.
Heyer was fatally wounded when James Fields allegedly rammed his car into counter-protesters during the rally.
Bro said upon seeing her daughter’s battered and broken body for the first time, she broke down and made a vow.
“I held her hand and said, ‘I’m going to make this count.’”