D.C. officials preparing for clash during Sunday's 'Unite the Right' rally
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
A white nationalists group was officially issued a permit to hold the "Unite the Right" rally in D.C. on Sunday, but counter-demonstrators were also given the green light.
City agencies and law enforcement jurisdictions came together in an effort to keep the peace, with concerns that counter-demonstrators, such as Black Lives Matter, would clash with the rally in locations such as Lafayette Park.
After meeting with the interfaith community Thursday at a Jewish synagogue, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had mincing words.
“We have people coming to our city for the sole purpose of spewing hate," Bowser said.
City officials did not say specifically what the strategy would be in dealing with the possible civil unrest and potential violence, but Bowser did sign an order to activate the city’s emergency operation center.
“We want to dissuade anyone who wants to come to our city to destroy a city. If you are coming with weapons things to break windows things of that, like which we have seen, don't do it,” Bowser warned.
Just one permit alone allows for 1,000 counter-demonstrators to march together and by late Friday morning even more applications were being reviewed.