Gov. Northam declares state of emergency ahead of Charlottesville rally anniversary

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A counter demonstrator throws a water bottle at an white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve […]

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville have proactively declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia that left a woman dead and dozens of others injured.

Officials said Wednesday the declaration would streamline state and local operations this weekend while also allocating $2 million in state funds. The declaration authorizes the Virginia National Guard to assist in security efforts.


Law enforcement officials say there will be a heavy police presence meant to deter any violence.

Only one organizer of last summer’s rally seems intent on publicly marking the anniversary. Jason Kessler has vowed to press ahead with plans for an Aug. 12 rally in Washington, D.C., after  Charlottesville denied him a permit.

“Unite the Right 2” will take place in Lafayette Park Sunday evening near the White House.

An independent review by former U.S. Attorney Tim Heapy found law enforcement’s response to the August 2017 rally failed on multiple fronts — including not adequately communicating or coordinating in advance.

The city’s new police chief RaShall Brackney said Wednesday that “communications gaps have been filled” and Charlottesville Police will now be better able to communicate with other agencies.

More than 700 Virginia State Troopers will be ready to keep the peace if needed.

Related: A year after deadly rally, wounds are still raw

The city has already announced several road closures around Downtown Charlottesville, as well as parks facility closures. 

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