Trump condemns racism on Charlottesville anniversary

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Trump's tweet Saturday, his first public mention of the anniversary, did not label the event as a white supremacist rally or specify that it was a white rallygoer who rammed his auto into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one.

The protest was initially scheduled to take place on Saturday in a plaza at the University of Virginia, in honour of former US President Thomas Jefferson.

Pollster Henry Fernandez of the African-American Research Collaborative reports that black women in particular feel "disrespected" by Trump, a fact that may mean Charlottesville will come back to hurt Trump after all. He also stated that he condemns "all types of racism and acts of violence".

After the riots were dispersed, an OH man associated with white nationalist groups drove a auto into the crowd of counter-protesters who were marching peacefully, killing 32-year-old Heyer and injuring 19 others.

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A student rally has been planned this weekend in Charlottesville to reclaim the campus square where the white supremacists marched a year ago wielding tiki torches.

Rally organizers encouraged supporters to bring a USA or Confederate flags, and cautioned not to react angrily to counter protesters. Romney has at times been a caustic critic of Trump, who is also a Republican.

The Tweet appeared to echo his equivocations after last year's violence when he blamed "many sides" for the violence and said there were "very fine people" on both sides.

Trump earlier this week returned on Twitter to one of his favorite themes, calling on the NFL to penalize football players who kneel during the national anthem to protest police violence against blacks and other inequities.

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Last year's protests in Charlottesville on August 11 saw hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathizers, accompanied by rifle-carrying men, chanting white nationalist and anti-Jewish slogans while wielding flaming torches - scenes reminiscent of racist rallies held before the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

Trump was widely criticized for his response, in which he said "both sides" were to blame for the violence, equating the white nationalists with the counterprotesters.

Jeanne Zaino, professor of political science at Iona College, said: "He has calculated that any straight out condemnation may turn his base another way so he is walking this line where he condemns racism on both sides - as if there were two sides to this. Peace to ALL Americans!" he wrote.

Authorities have promised an enormous security presence to avoid a repeat of the street brawls that broke out past year in downtown Charlottesville after neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and other hate groups marched through the city.

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McAuliffe said in his CNN interview that he spoke with Trump past year during the chaos of that weekend.

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