Mon, Aug 13, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Counterprotesters expected to dwarf white supremacists in Washington


White supremacists were set yesterday to rally outside the White House, one year after torch-wielding neo-Nazis clashed with counter-demonstrators in a deadly protest that highlighted the growing boldness of the extreme right in the US.

Organized by Unite the Right — the same network that called last year’s protest in Charlottesville, Virginia — yesterday’s rally was expected to draw extremists against anti-fascists, who are staging a counterprotest.

Jason Kessler, who abandoned his bid to stage a similar anniversary event in Charlottesville, said in his permit application that he expects 100 to 400 people to participate in his the afternoon event in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House.

“I don’t know exactly what will happen, but it probably will not be good,” tweeted Richard Spencer, a leader of the so-called “alt-right” movement.

Spencer said he would be staying away from the rally.

The National Park Service also issued permits for events organized by DC United Against Hate, New York Black Lives Matter, and other groups.

Government and police officials in Washington have expressed confidence the city can manage the events without violence; the mayor and police chief have promised a massive security mobilization to keep protesters and counter-protesters apart.

All firearms will be banned from the Washington protest site, including those legally carried by licensed gun owners, officials said.

Rally organizers encouraged supporters to bring a US or Confederate flags, and cautioned not to react angrily to counter protesters.

“There will certainly be provocateurs trying to get a reaction out of you by trying to stick cameras in peoples’ faces, yelling, etc,” the Unite the Right Web site stated.

Additional reporting by AP

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