What was promoted as a “white civil-rights rally” held near the White House on Sunday appeared to be a bust, with fewer than 20 attendees, while thousands of counterprotesters gathered nearby.
Jason Kessler, the white nationalist who organized the rally, told the National Park Service he expected 100 to 400 attendees. The rally began about 3:30 p.m. EDT and ended abruptly around 5 p.m., when Kessler and others were escorted away in vans by police. The even had been scheduled to run from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m.
The rally marked the anniversary of last year’s mayhem in Charlottesville, Va., in which white nationalists and their supporters clashed with counterprotesters. One counterprotester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a far-right protester drove a car into their group. Many others were injured, and two Virginia state troopers also died when their helicopter accidentally crashed.
For Sunday’s rally, held in Lafayette Square, District of Columbia police were taking no chances. Some offers were in riot gear, others on horseback. Metal barriers, dozens of police officers, and several yards separated the two groups. Counterprotesters held several rallies nearby, with some waving signs denouncing racism.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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