Extremist Unite the Right and counter-demonstrators gather in Washington D.C.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

On the one-year anniversary of the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Unite the Right movement gathers in Washington today. The divisive hate group is permitted to have up to 400 demonstrators, while at least 1,000 counter-protesters are expected.

After the fallout from Charlottesville’s deadly demonstration, resulting in numerous lawsuits and general public outcry, law enforcement will closely monitor this weekend’s events, while separating the demonstration from counter-protest.

Since last year, some prominent white nationalist groups such as League of the South distanced themselves from the Unite the Right movement. Regardless, a number of Republican congressional candidates, including Wisconsin’s Paul Nehlen, will speak at tomorrow’s events, campaigning with white nationalist rhetoric.

What will be most closely scrutinised is the response of US President Donald Trump. Mr Trump faced heavy criticism for his failure to condemn the Unite the Right movement in 2017, which helped normalise white supremacy. With the all-important congressional midterm elections looming in November, expect President Trump to change his approach, potentially disassociating himself from the alt-right, as the Republican Party seeks to win over voters outside of Mr Trump’s support base.

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