WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump denounced on Saturday “all types of racism” ahead of the anniversary of the white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the death of a woman and two police officers.
“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump’s message is in stark contrast with the controversial remarks he made nearly a year ago, when he blamed the violence in Charlottesville on both the neo-Nazi groups and the counter-protesters, adding that there were “fine people” among the white supremacists.
The Charlottesville protests, which became a symbol of racial tensions in the US, took place on Aug. 12, when white supremacists marched in the city to denounce the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general who fought in the American Civil War.
During the rally, a young neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 people.
In addition, two police officers died in a helicopter crash while they were monitoring the protests.
A student rally has been planned this weekend in Charlottesville to reclaim the campus square where the white supremacists marched last year wielding tiki torches.
However, most sights will be set on Washington, DC, where white nationalists are once again planning a “Unite the Right” rally, which last year ended in tragedy in Charlottesville.
The neo-Nazis are planning to protest in front of the White House, while a coalition of progressive groups has organized an “anti-racist” counter-protest nearby.