Live coverage: White nationalists, counterprotesters rally in DC

Far-right protesters and counterprotesters have descended on Washington, D.C., on Sunday the first anniversary of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Earlier Sunday, hundreds of people participated in counterprotests across the city as white nationalists prepared for their rally.

‘Unite the Right’ rally ends hours ahead of schedule

5:41 p.m.

White nationalists attending the “Unite the Right 2” rally reportedly left in few numbers on Sunday in Washington, D.C. 

The roughly two dozen demonstrators who attended the rally had reportedly been escorted out of Lafayette Park by local police to the cheers of hundreds of people protesting them.

The “Unite the Right 2” rally had initially been scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and go until 7 p.m. 
The counterprotests had dwindled significantly as well, but one protester said the anti-fascists are “still here.”  

D.C. mayor says she’s ‘monitoring’ events

5:23 p.m.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser says she’s “monitoring today’s activities” as counterprotests swamped the white nationalist rally taking place downtown.

“At Headquarters, monitoring today’s activities,” Bowser tweeted.

Rally hit by rain and thunder

5:14 p.m.

It has started to rain with lightning and thunder, but multitudes of attendees at the counterprotests, as well as the few white nationalists in attendance, are still standing.

The crowd protesting the white nationalist rally can be heard referring to members of the “Unite the Right” rally as “Nazis.” Occasionally, the crowd breaks into boos. 

Many of the participants in the counterprotest are beginning to depart from the park. The crowd is starting dwindling.

Law enforcement intervenes after counterprotesters throw projectiles

4:50 p.m.

Law enforcement stepped in after counterprotesters were seen hurling bottles and other objects at a few people heading to the “Unite the Right” rally.

Counterprotesters confront white nationalists

4:33 p.m.

Counterprotesters have formed a unified line against the barricade separating them from the white nationalist rally, shouting “Go home, Nazis” and “Black Lives Matter.”

They are directly facing the lines of police between them and the white nationalist protest, jeering and waving signs. One man is blowing into a tuba every few minutes. 

“F— you, Nazis!” one group is chanting as another cohort breaks into song.

On the other side of the park, a man is espousing racist views to a small group of people, mainly comprised of members of the press. 

-Emily Birnbaum

Apparent smoke bombs set off at white nationalist rally

4:18 p.m.

The Hill witnessed what appeared to be at least one smoke bomb go off at the beginning of the “Unite the Right 2” rally.

Someone appears to have set off a smoke bomb at the center of an anti-fascist protest.

-Emily Birnbaum

‘Unite the Right 2’ draws huge counterprotests

4:14 p.m.

About two dozen white nationalists have arrived at Lafayette Park for “Unite the Right 2,” a rally commemorating the first anniversary of last year’s deadly Charlottesville demonstrations. 

Though white nationalist organizer Jason Kessler originally said he suspected there could be up to 400 attendees, it appears there are only about 25. 

On the other side of the park, thousands of counterprotesters have mobilized against the white supremacists. The counterprotesters, who marched in from separate events throughout the city, are marching through the roads surrounding the White House and gathering on the side of Lafayette Park where they have a permit. 

There is significant distance between the dueling demonstrations, with each side barricaded off. Police in neon vests are gathered in the middle. 

Law enforcement escorted the roughly 25 white nationalists onto the side closer to the White House.

Kessler has been speaking, and intermittently taking breaks, for about 20 minutes.

-Emily Birnbaum


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