‘Unite the Right’ in march triggers tension, Antifa collisions, hundreds of counterprotesters



White nationalists and counter-protesters march in DC

Peter Doocy reports that the police shut down demonstrations by a storm.

The tension was building on a Sunday afternoon in Washington, D. C., as a group of extreme right-wing demonstrators gathered for the so-called “Unite the Right II” march to the White House and were met by the police and hundreds of counterprotesters, including Antifa.

A passing thunderstorm forced the demonstrators to break down, the rally stage in Lafayette Park near the White House to cancel, but if the police escorted them from the area, reports of Antifa resistance, with skirmishes breaking out and fireworks heard in the air.

Hours earlier, the white nationalist rally participants — a few dozen in all, according to some estimates — are collected in a metro station in northern Virginia and traveled to the capital of the country via the train for the land in Foggy Bottom near the George Washington University campus. Police officers cleared a way through the counterprotesters for the group to march through on their way to Lafayette Park outside the White House. The extreme right-wing rallygoers marched in the middle of the street, surrounded by a member of the police, while the counter-protesters interrupted them from the sidewalks on both sides.

While the extreme-right group held its rally in Lafayette Park, Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters marched in the surrounding streets. At a given moment a burst of smoke came in the vicinity of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House.

‘Unite the Right’ organiser Jason Kessler.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

There were no immediate reports of arrests or injury. A few confrontations between protesters and counterprotesters were defused by the police.

When the extreme right-wing group arrived at Lafayette Park, another large crowd greeted them with boos, cries of “shame”, and chants of “Nazis go home” and “you’re not welcome here.”

“Unite the Right” organizer Jason Kessler said he expects that 100 to 400 people to participate in the Lafayette Park event. However, their number was much less than that.

Counterprotesters rallied in Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D. C. Sunday.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A number of leading figures in the U.S. white nationalist movement said that they would not attend or supporters are encouraged to stay away.

The National Park Service also permits for events organized by DC United Against Hate, New York, Black Lives Matter and other groups. Government and police officials in Washington have expressed confidence in the city can manage the events without violence; the mayor and the police have promised a massive security mobilization to keep protesters and counterprotesters from each other.

Mid-afternoon, more than 1,000 people gathered in Freedom Plaza, near the White House, to oppose Kessler’s demonstration. The counterprotesters scheduled for march to Lafayette Square just before the arrival of the white nationalists.

Makia Green, which stands for the Washington branch of Black Lives Matter, told Sunday’s crowd: “We know from experience that ignoring of white nationalism does not work.”

Earlier this month, Facebook shocked and angry counterprotest organizers as it disabled their Washington event page, said he and others were created by “bad actors” who abuse the social media platform. The company said at the time that the page can be linked to an account created by the Russian Internet research agency — a so-called troll farm that has discord been sown in the US — but counterprotesters said that it was an authentic event, they have worked hard to organize.

Sunday is one year after the original “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, when hundreds of white nationalists including neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan members descended on Charlottesville part to protest the city’s decision to remove a monument Linked Gene. Robert E. Lee to a park.

Arrested in Charlottesville protesters Chloe Lubin, left, and Jesse Beard.

(City Of Charlottesville)

Violent fighting broke out between participants and counterprotesters in 2017. Authorities eventually forced the crowd to disperse, but a car later walk into the crowd of peaceful counterprotesters, killing the 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and injured dozens more. A state police helicopter later crashed, killing two troopers.

This weekend was much quieter in Charlottesville. On Sunday morning, a crowd of more than 200 people gathered in a park to protest against racism and do not forget Heyer. The group sang songs, and the speakers addressed the crowd.

Authorities in Charlottesville, confirmed that four people were arrested, including a man and a woman who got into a fight after the man greeted the Lee image.

Arrested in Charlottesville protesters Martin Clevenger, left, and Veronica Fitzhugh.

(City Of Charlottesville)

Martin Clevenger, 29, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and 40-year-old Veronica Fitzhugh, 40, Charlottesville, were arrested on one count each of disorderly conduct and later released on a summons.

Another Charlottesville resident, a 42-year-old Jesse Beard, was arrested on one count of obstruction of free passage and was released on a summons. Chloe Lubin, 29, of Portland, Maine, was arrested on suspicion of the crime of assault and battery, disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice and possession of a concealed weapon. Authorities said Lubin spit in a demonstrator’s face and clung to one another demonstrator as police tried to arrest her.

On the Saturday night of the University of Virginia, students and other activists recently confronted the police about the heavy security presence at a rally. They unfurled a banner reading, “Last year they came w/ torches. This year they come w/ badges, ” and chanted, “Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here.” More than 200 marched to a different part of the campus, where many shouted at a line of officers.

This is a developing story; check back for more updates.

Fox News’ Peter Doocy and Sarah Tobiankski in Washington and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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