Counterprotesters return to UVA campus for rally

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A day after tensions between police and community activists almost boiled over on the University of Virginia's campus, the city of Charlottesville marked Sunday's anniversary of a deadly gathering of white supremacists with a rally against racial hatred.

A group anti-fascism demonstrators march in the downtown area in anticipation of the anniversary of last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. This year, his official account tweeted a condemnation of "all types of racism and acts of violence".

"A band of racists outnumbered by the police officers who are there to protect their free speech rights", CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter wrote on Twitter.

Maurice Cook, a DC-based organiser and cofounder of the March for Racial Justice group, agreed, telling Al Jazeera that Sunday's counterprotest "is an opportunity for us to come together, recruit and do the structural work that we are charged to do to dismantle the impact of white supremacy in our country". 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. Virginia state troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates also lost their lives when their helicopter crashed as they were monitoring the rally.

A student rally has been planned this weekend in Charlottesville to reclaim the campus square where the white supremacists marched previous year wielding tiki torches.

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

Hawk Newsome, the president of that Black Lives Matter chapter, told NPR last week that if people are "tired of the racism in America, if they're exhausted of these groups who have killed people for hundreds of years, then they should show up and stand with us in this safe space on Sunday".

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Algenon Franklin Cain, 28, of Red Springs, N.C. was arrested by Virginia State Police for trespassing on two separate occasions. I think last year's eruption - that infection gives us a little better understanding of how bad it is so that we can gradually, slowly and difficultly heal.

A park across the street from the White House is already filling up with people who oppose a white nationalist demonstration that is scheduled to take place later Sunday.

Anti-fascist protesters march before a planned white supremacists march in Washington, D.C., on August 12, 2018. The far-right rallygoers marched in the middle of the street, surrounded by a phalanx of police, while counter-protesters heckled them from the sidewalks on either side. We have to stand up against hate, wherever we see it.

This weekend marks one year since white nationalists took to the streets of Charlottesville in a demonstration of anger that drew crowds of outraged counterprotesters, one of whom was left dead.

"I'm not looking forward to what that's going to look like this weekend", she said.

An independent investigation of last year's rally violence, led by a former federal prosecutor, found the chaos stemmed from a passive response by law enforcement and poor preparation and coordination between state and city police. After last year's deadly event, several far-right groups sought to distant themselves from the alt-right.

Anniversary events this year in Charlottesville have been largely peaceful.

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