Heather Heyer's mother visits memorial on one-year anniversary of daughter's death

Saul Bowman
August 13, 2018

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he condemns "all types of racism and acts of violence", appealing for unity ahead of the anniversary of a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Members of the leftist Answer Coalition plan a "mass action" to protest the white nationalists.

Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor to Trump, said on Sunday that the media was "just not covering" the president's repeated denunciations of white nationalists. He was at his golf club in New Jersey.

In the past, similar far-right demonstrations have been dwarfed by counterprotests. Kessler backed off plans for another rally this summer and turned his focus to an event in Washington, D.C.

"We're here to let white supremacists, fascists, neo-nazis and their sympathizers know that DC has driven out these types of white supremacists before and we will do it again", Makia Green, an organizer for Black Lives Matter DC, said in a statement. "Against the White Supremacists that are marching, and against White Supremacy in the way that it is entrenched in this institution".

Walker agreed that the images of a vehicle plowing into a crowd of counter-demonstrators shocked the world because the small, Southern town of Charlottesville, the home to former President Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia, provided a stark contrast to the nation's underlying racial tensions. The group sang songs, and speakers addressed the crowd.

The mother of Heather Heyer visited the site in Charlottesville, Virginia, where her daughter was killed previous year and urged supporters to keep up her daughter's fight against racial inequities.

Commander, who was with Heyer when she was killed, said, "She is with me today too".

Some say they had hoped for better relations this year. "We don't see no riot here", activists chanted Saturday evening. More than 200 marched to another part of campus, where many shouted at a line of officers.

On the eve of last year's rally, torch-toting white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia's campus, shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. On Saturday night, she was angry at the police response to the student rally.

This year, after their permit was denied in Charlottesville, the white supremacists made a decision to head to the nation's capital to hold a "Unite the Right 2" rally in Washington, D.C. right outside of the White House.

At a Virginia metro station, NPR's Larry Kaplow reported that a small group of white supremacist demonstrators, some of them carrying US flags and hiding their faces with bandannas, boarded a train to D.C. under heavy police presence.

They also demanded the school bar self-identified white supremacists from the campus this anniversary weekend. The event's organizer is Jason Kessler, a white nationalist who was behind last year's rally in Charlottesville, which included neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan chanting "Jews will not replace us" while carrying tiki torches in front of a statue of Confederate war hero Robert E. Lee.

Violent fighting broke out between attendees and counterprotesters that day.

Bro also thanked Virginia State Police for their presence and sacrifice, leaving flowers for the two officers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who were killed in a helicopter crash related to last year's events.

"We've always acted as if black lives never mattered, as if people of color never mattered", Susan Bro, the mother of the counterprotester killed in Charlottesville previous year, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday.

We will never forget Lt. Jay Cullen, Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates, and Heather Heyer.

"I don't want other mothers to be in my spot", she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

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