A year after the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Washington D.C. braced Sunday for an influx of far-right protesters marching for “White civil rights” across the street from the White House.
Compared to the protest seen in Charlottesville last year, the white nationalists coming to D.C. are in sorry shape. The rally organizer, Jason Kessler, has been ostracized by most other far-right figureheads, who have actively encouraged others not to attend the D.C. rally.
Despite this, neither authorities nor counter-protesters are taking any chances at this year’s rally, which is scheduled to take place at 4 pm Sunday in Lafayette Square, a small park just across from the White House.
Streets along the mile-long route to be taken by the marchers, as well as the area around the White House and the Foggy Bottom Metro Station, where Kessler and his group are set to be arriving, have been closed off.
Counter-protesters are expected to descend in numbers on Lafayette Square to drown out Kessler.
“This is our city. Our house. Our people,” Dan Simons, who owns Founding Farmers restaurant near Lafayette Square, told the Washingtonian. “We’ve told our team: this isn’t what that is. You don’t have to be in a room with someone who’s advocating for your death and enslavement.”
Meanwhile Uber and Lyft drivers are debating whether or not they want to work in areas where white nationalists may be active on Sunday.
A Lyft spokeswoman said the company had sent out a similar reminder.