Peaceful events, heavy security mark rally
The city was marking the anniversary of last summer’s white supremacist violence with marches, vigils and other community events that began unfolding peacefully Saturday amid a heavy police presence.
As many businesses in a popular downtown shopping district began to open Saturday, law enforcement officers outnumbered visitors. Concrete barriers and metal fences had been erected, and police were searching bags.
“It’s nice that they’re here to protect us,” said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at a shop that sells artwork, jewelry, and other items. “It feels good that they’re here in front of our store. Last year was a whole different story. It looked like a war zone last year.”
Saturday marked the anniversary of a nighttime march by torch-toting white supremacists through the University of Virginia’s campus a day ahead of a larger rally in Charlottesville’s downtown.