A Year Later, Charlottesville Braces for Trouble

State of emergency in effect as city marks one-year anniversary of racial violence
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2018 11:21 AM CDT
Charlottesville, One Year Later: 'You Don't Get to Silence My Kid'
Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed during the "Unite the Right" rally last year, looks over memorabilia in her office in Charlottesville, Va., on Monday.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., and city officials are trying to avoid any repeat. States of emergency have been declared for the city and the entire state, and downtown Charlottesville will be under heavy watch from city, state, and federal law enforcement officers, reports the local Daily Progress. In fact, anyone heading downtown will have to pass through security checkpoints first. Hospitals, meanwhile, are preparing for the worst, notes another Daily Progress story. Related coverage:

  • Victim's mom: USA Today has an interview with the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a supporter of white nationalists drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. Susan Bro now runs a foundation in her daughter's name and has taken up her campaign for social justice. "You don't get to silence my kid and get away with it," says Bro.
  • A protester: One of the organizers of last year's "Unite the Right" rally, Jason Kessler, is moving ahead with plans for a rally in DC on Sunday after Charlottesville rejected his bid for a permit this year, reports the AP. None of the other organizers appear to be planning to publicly mark the occasion. In Charlottesville, several events are planned in the name of racial healing.

  • Documentary: Frontline and ProPublica have teamed up on a documentary about last year's violence, and you can watch it here.
  • First person: ProPublica reporter AC Thompson was covering the Charlottesville rally in 2017, and he recounts the violence in a first-person piece. "The mood of the marchers wasn't merely angry, it felt homicidal," he writes.
  • A black mayor: One thing that has changed in Charlottesville over the last year is that the city has its first black female mayor in Nikuyah Walker. The 38-year-old thinks city officials handled last year's protests badly, and she's determined to bring systemic change. "One of the main things that I'm here to do is to call attention to the liberal progressive Democratic structure that's in place, that believes that their best intentions are enough," she tells the Guardian in an interview. "You need actions behind those intentions. You can't just use words."
  • Confederate memorials: Many cities around the US have taken them down (the original source of friction in Charlottesville), but USA Today notes there are now 1,740 such memorials listed—up by 237 from 2016. The reason for the increase? Renewed attention caused lots more to be added to the list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
(Read more Charlottesville, Va. stories.)

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