Almost two dozen people were also injured in the attack, which officials said was carried out by a 21-year-old white man from OH who had demonstrated with the white supremacist groups. "This year they come with badges". University of Virginia students will march on their Charlottesville campus Saturday night, Debbie tells Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday. "How does that create a sense of community?"
"Nothing would excite us any better than for this to be noneventful and folks to go home and it be a peaceful weekend for all", Settle said. Police, who appeared to be avoiding a confrontation, rode bicycles ahead of the march to stop traffic.
The protestors eventually walked away and no arrests were made.
In the downtown shopping district this morning, officers outnumbered visitors.
"It's nice that they're here to protect us", said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at Ten Thousand Villages, a shop that sells artwork, jewelry, and other items.
A number of downtown business owners told WHSV's sister station, WCAV, that the response seems like "overkill" from the state trying to make up for what happened a year ago.
Any response from Trump to this year's demonstrations could have consequences as Democrats look to harness outrage for electoral gains.
On August 12, hundreds of white nationalists - including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members - descended on Charlottesville in part to protest the city's decision to remove a monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a park. Violent fighting broke out between attendees and counterprotesters that day.
The city is expecting large crowds to honor Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old killed when a auto rammed into a packed street of counter-protesters in downtown Charlottesville on August 12 2017.
Two state police personnel - Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates - died in a helicopter crash responding to the scene.
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That protest left one person dead and highlighted the growing boldness of the far right under Trump. Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle said more than 700 state police will be activated during the weekend.
The local chapter of Black Lives Matter is also planning a separate march to the site.
Bro said Heyer, a paralegal for a Charlottesville law firm, helped her understand white privilege, and she has been attempting to explain that to others.
"I remember the police just standing around". Bro said they tell her that if she can stand up, they can, too. "I was grateful that I was able to come out of that alive".
Trump came under heavy criticism, including from Republicans, for initially refusing a year ago to explicitly condemn white supremacists.
As reported past year, following Heyer's death, "about 1,000 people attended a memorial service for Heyer in Charlottesville".
"Last year, I was afraid of the Nazis. Every police action that you will see on Sunday will be done with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safety of everyone that attends", he said. "This is not making anyone that I know feel safe".
"We have a lot of folks in organizing here who were present for the murder of the young woman past year", Lance said.