CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WAVY) — This weekend will mark one since violence broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
The city has prepared for the anniversary — and any potential demonstrations — with an increased police presence that includes 700 state troopers.
Barricades will be in place, and police will be controlling entry points to the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.
Officials across the Commonwealth are responding to the anniversary:
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam:
“This anniversary is also a time to look forward. Those torches carried by white supremacists in Charlottesville a year ago shone a light on an ugly truth. But they also reawakened our commitment to fight back against that ugliness of racism and bigotry. Hatred has no home in this Commonwealth. I hope that as we remember the lives lost a year ago, we also renew our commitment to equity and diversity. We must continue to work to ensure that our hearts are open to our neighbors, and our systems are committed to justice.”
Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.)
“One year ago, we were witnesses to prejudice, hate and bigotry as we all watched the tragedy of Charlottesville unfold before us. As we struggled to believe that men with torches chanting hateful slogans would march through a community right here in Virginia, we were further horrified when our president equated the purveyors of hate and those who stood against them.
“On this anniversary, we look back filled with sorrow and pain at the lives lost, the families suffering, and the citizens terrified. I wish I could just say ‘never again’ but I recognize we have a long way to go to remove the hate and prejudice in our country and our communities. We must strive to do what we can to heal the rifts, tears and disparities in our society. We must recognize that intolerance and hate are all too prevalent and that each and every one of us has a duty to call it out and to do what we can to stop it.”
NOTE: This post will be updated as more statements are released.