As the first anniversary of the right supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia approached, law enforcement and counter-protestors prepared for the worst. Luckily, the day passed in relative peace, while a tiny number of white supremacists gathered across the street from the White House surrounded by dozens of police, many on horseback, as well as a “sea of counter protestors.”
Last year’s “Unite the Right” rally left one woman dead and several injured after a car rammed them during the riot, and two police officers who died when their helicopter crashed.
This year, the far-right group had a permit to protest in Lafayette Square on Sunday, until 7:30pm. They left a little bit after an hour together, at about 5pm, after it began to rain.
When asked about the sparse turnout, Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Unite the Right Event, said the small numbers were irrelevant.
“People were rightly scared of coming out,” Kessler said. “We had to prove the point we could do this rally and people would be safe.”
Last year Donald Trump was highly criticized for his response to the violence, saying that both sides had “good and bad people.” This year Trump tweeted his desire for Americans to “come together.”
“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” Trump said. “We must come together as a nation.”