Update, Sunday, 5:33 p.m.: Reporters on the ground say that the rally is over already.
Probably not what Jason Kessler had in mind.
Update, Sunday, 4:55 p.m.: It seems that Jason Kessler’s hate fest is turning out to be a flop—at least so far. Counterprotesters are estimated to be in the thousands—and they’re very vocal:
And this is Kessler’s not-so-united group:
In fact, there are more journalists covering the event than white supremacist participants. And given the heavy police presence, so far, no reports of violence have been issued.
Also, now it’s raining.
Kessler’s group is now being escorted outside the protest area by police, while counterdemonstrators try to block their exit, ending the rally early.
Original post continues here:
On the one-year anniversary of the violent clashes in Charlottesville, VA, which ended in the murder of peaceful protester Heather Heyer, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are set once again to confront anti-racism counterdemonstrators at the “Unite the Right 2” rally in Washington, DC.
Led by organizer Jason Kessler, white supremacists began boarding public transportation in the late afternoon to make their way downtown for the permitted rally in Lafayette Square, in front of the White House. Kessler expects to draw up to 400 white supremacists to the event, which features speakers like former KKK grand wizard David Duke. But judging by early accounts, they might not come close to those numbers.
Hundreds of counterprotesters awaited the arrival of only a “couple dozen” Unite the Right attendees traveling by train, according to media reports. MSNBC’s Garrett Haake said the disorganized group was “outflanked” by counterdemonstrators and members of the news media. “It’s gonna be a blow out,” he wrote on Twitter.
According to The Root, citing WUSA9, Fairfax, VA, police and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority closed northbound gates to the public at the Vienna Station to allow only Unite the Right protesters to enter the station to head to the Foggy Bottom station, where the march is scheduled to begin.
The Associated Press reported that the National Park Service also issued permits for events by DC United Against Hate, New York Black Lives Matter, and other groups.
Black Lives Matter DC and other groups began marching in the early afternoon, repeating chants like, “Fuck no, we won’t go, the KKK has got to go.”
Meanwhile, earlier in Charlottesville, hundreds of people gathered to protest racism, including a friend who was with Heyer when she was killed last year. “She is with me today, too,” protester Courtney Commander told the AP.
On Saturday night, anti-racism demonstrations in Charlottesville, at the University of Virginia campus, grew tense as protesters were confronted by a multitude of police officers in riot gear, a show of force that participants say was completely unwarranted.
This story is developing and will be updated throughout the evening.