DC Metro considers using separate trains during 'Unite The Right' rally

DC Metro considers using separate trains during 'Unite The Right' rally
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Metro officials in Washington are reportedly considering providing separate trains for those attending the "Unite the Right" white nationalist rally later this month.

"We have groups clearly at odds with each other," said Jack Evans, chairman of the Metro board, according to NBC 4 Washington. "We'd like to keep the groups separate. We don't want incidents on Metro."

Evans added that the idea would be to "maybe put all of one group on a train or a certain car on a train."

"We're trying to see how can we keep the groups separate so we don't have any incidents but not put in place programs that could be problematic in the future," he said. 

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The local NBC affiliate noted that "Unite the Right" protesters plan to use the Metro from the Vienna, Va., station to the Foggy Bottom station in D.C. on Aug. 12, the day of the protest.

Metro's largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, said that officials were considering providing private metrorail service for those attending the rally.

"We draw the line at giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech, especially considering that the courts granted Metro the ability to deny ads on buses and trains that are 'issue-oriented,' " ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter said, NBC 4 reported, adding that the union is advising that its members do whatever they feel is safe during the day of the demonstration. 

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told The Washington Post that he could neither confirm nor deny whether several cars would be reserved for rally attendees, the newspaper reported.

“Transit Police are engaged in ongoing discussions with MPD, the lead agency for the Aug 12 event, as well as Virginia State Police and others as to how to keep everyone safe on that day,” he wrote in an email. “While details of the plan are security sensitive at this stage, I can tell you that it has *not* been finalized.” 

D.C. police did say that it plans to escort the protesters from the Foggy Bottom Metro stop to the White House. 

The news regarding what the Metro service may do on the day of the "Unite The Right" rally comes after the National Park Service granted approval for an application for a "white civil rights" rally near the White House this month.

NBC 4 reported that four counterdemonstration applications have been filed also, but none have received permits yet. 

The protests will take place about a year after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., erupted in violence and led to the death of a 32-year-old woman.