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On the first anniversary of the riots of 11th and 12th August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, right-wing extremist demonstrations were planned in Washington. Finally, only 30 participants were facing hundreds of counter-demonstrators.

Happenings in Charlottesville in 2017

In the night of 11th to 12th August 2017 there had been conflicts between protesters in Charlottesville. One women died. According to the motto “Unite the Right” neo-Nazis and supporters of right-wing extremist groups, e.g. KKK and alt-right, demonstrated against the removal of an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, general of the Confederate States and commander-in-chief of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Especially supporters of the southern states stylized him later as hero.
After the demonstrators had used right-wing slogans, like “Heil Trump” and “Blood and Soil”, the governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe declared the state of emergency and the official end of the demonstration.
A car crashed deliberately in a crowd of counter-demonstrators. In this way Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, died and at least 19 people were wounded. The police arrested the driver the same day.
On the part of the counter-demonstrators there were mainly members of the National Council of Churches and local racial justice activists who have been partly armed.
Many people protested against right-wing extremist violence in the USA the next day. In Charlottesville – and also outside of the USA – commemoration ceremonies were organized.
There were highly controversial discussion regarding the reaction of the US-president Donald Trump having said that “there is blame on both sides” and that there are fine people among the right-wing demonstrators.

Anniversary of Charlottesville – Demonstrations in Washington

On the weekend of the 11th August 2018 it has been the first anniversary of the riots in Charlottesville. In Washington there were right-wing extremist demonstrations planned in the evening. At least 400 people were expected.
Already at noon hundreds of counter-demonstrators gathered in front of the White House where they would encounter the right-wing activists in the evening. They used paroles like “White Supremacy Is Terrorism” and “No Nazi – No KKK – No Fascist USA”.
At the end of the day only 30 people participated in the right-wing protest which US media reports. Jason Kessler, one of the organiser of the demonstration, justifies the low participation with the fear of renewed conflicts.
According to Donald Trump, who commented again on the happenings of the previous year, the riots caused “pointless death and seperation”. Also his daughter, Ivanka Trump, took clear position tweeting that there is “no room in US for white supremacy, racism and neo-nazism”.
Originally the demonstrations were supposed to take place in Charlottesville, but there they did not obtain the approval.
Story by: Katrin Albrecht/