Federal Bureau of Investigation believes Russian Federation is involved in organizing protests in US

Restaurants in downtown Washington, D.C., are taking precautions for the "Unite the Right 2" white supremacist rally planned for Sunday, with some planning to close for the weekend and others educating their staffs on handling hard customers.

The Commonwealth state of emergency declaration mobilizes and funds state resources from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia National Guard, and other state agencies that will be deployed to Charlottesville and Northern Virginia.

The August 12, 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville by neo-nazi and white supremacist groups drew strong counter-protesters.

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The "Unite the Right" rally last August, called to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, turned the picturesque Virginia college town into a chaotic scene of street brawls, and one woman was killed when an OH man rammed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters. A 20-year-old OH man, James Alex Fields, said to have harbored Nazi sympathies, was charged with murder, malicious wounding and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. And William Erbie Hawkins Jr., 53, of Amelia, was arrested for being drunk in public after a Virginia State Police officer noticed him walking unsteadily and gave him a field sobriety test, according to a press release issued by the City of Charlottesville. "We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully".

A defined security area will be established around downtown that will include security checkpoints limiting access to pedestrians. "We will confront fascism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and state violence on August 10-12", read a statement.

He told reporters Wednesday that central Charlottesville would be be accessible by only two entry points.

Officers will endeavor to keep the two sides separate, Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said. But this is the first time it was revealed that Russian Federation was involved a year ago in the white nationalist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.

The organizer of last year's event, white nationalist Jason Kessler, was denied a permit in Charlottesville this year but has secured permission to hold a demonstration on Sunday in Washington, across the street from the White House. Handguns, however, will not be banned, because of state and federal gun rights law, officials said.

  • Jon Douglas