Anti-racist protestors march through Charlottesville

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President Trump grew criticism previous year for his initial response the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally as he said "hate" came from "all sides".

But on Saturday, he tweeted: "The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division".

Schoep also addressed the Charlottesville, Virginia incident and said his group, "acted in self defense ... we are not the ones creating the violence. Peace to ALL Americans!" the president tweeted.

State police patrol the road in front of Market Street park with the state of Confederate General Robert E. Lee as they lock down the downtown area of Charlottesville. A group raised a banner that said: "Last year they came w/ torches". On Wednesday, Virginia's governor declared a state of emergency to help coordinate planning and response to the anniversary weekend.

As many businesses in a popular downtown shopping district began to open on Saturday, law enforcement officers outnumbered visitors. Deploying riot police along the security perimeter, law enforcement went on to erect concrete barriers and metal fences before setting up entry points with metal detectors to screen rally participants.

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Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, and city and state officials are taking steps to make sure there is not another violent outbreak. James Alex Fields, Jr.is charged with driving his auto into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of people.

In Charlottesville, at least one rally is being organized on the University of Virginia campus by a group of student activists, UVA Students United.

"They marched chanting the slogans "Jews will not replace us" and 'blood and soil, ' a classic Nazi chant", Lance said of the Virginia rally.

On Saturday morning, the university hosted a "morning of reflection and renewal", with musical performances, a poetry reading and an address from University President James Ryan.

University of Virginia professor Lisa Woolfork says she doesn't know anyone who feels safer because of the increased police presence.

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The 2018 Unite the Right Rally will be held in the nation's capital and is expected to draw various extremist groups, potentially including some of the white supremacist and white nationalist organizations present in Charlottesville a year ago. The man accused of killing Heyer faces murder and hate crime charges.

A group anti-fascism demonstrators march in the downtown area in anticipation of the anniversary of last year's Unite the Right rally.

The 2017 Charlottesville rally, which drew white supremacists and neo-Nazis, was originally meant to protest the planned removal of a statue depicting Confederate General Robert E. Lee that still stands.

Additional events marking the anniversary of Heyer's death are also expected Sunday in both Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, said in an interview with the Associated Press that she has been dreading the anniversary of her daughter's death for months. Soon after though, he said that while there were bad people in the white supremacist group, "you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides".

Bro said the event had sparked painful memories of her daughter's death, which has led to murder charges against the alleged driver of the auto, James Fields.

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