A year after a deadly gathering of far-right extremists in Charlottesville, less than two dozen white nationalists marched Sunday across from the White House, their numbers dwarfed by thousands of counter-protesters, while the mother of a woman killed at last summer’s protest, Heather Heyer, said the country continues to face unhealed racial wounds.
The events, largely peaceful were part of a day of speeches, vigils and marches marking the anniversary of one of the largest gatherings of white nationalists and other far-right extremists in a decade. In Washington, dozens of police in bright yellow vests formed a tight cordon around the small group of white nationalists, separating them from shouting counte-rprotesters within view of the White House.
Jason Kessler, the principal organizer of last year’s “Unite the Right” event, led the Sunday gathering he called a white civil rights rally in Lafayette Square. Kessler said in a permit application that he expected 100 to 400 people to participate, but the actual number was far lower: only around 20.
Counter-protesters, who assembled before the rally’s scheduled start, vastly outnumbered Kessler’s crowd. Thousands showed up to jeer and shout insults at the white nationalists.
Makia Green, who represents the Washington branch of Black Lives Matter, told Sunday’s crowd: “We know from experience that ignoring white nationalism doesn’t work.”