WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Racial tension threatens to rip open still healing wounds, one year after a white power march in Charlottesville left death and destruction in its wake.
White nationalists - protected by the 1st amendment - received the 'OK' from the National Park Service Thursday to spew hatred and bigotry just beyond the White House gates. Guns won't be allowed at the Sunday march and violence won't be tolerated.
"The goal of all of law enforcement on that particular day is to make sure no one gets hurt, and nothing gets broken," said D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham.
Last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville saw dozens of violent outburst, and turned deadly - when a Dodge Charger allegedly driven by James Fields rammed into other cars, and a crowd, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Counter-protesters are expected to outnumber white supremacists this Sunday in Washington. The two camps will be kept separated by law enforcement - but how isn't clear. "We usually don't like to speak about [separation tactics]," said Newsham, "because we don't want to give anyone who may want to come here and create a problem an opportunity to think ahead."
Law enforcement and D.C.'s Mayor Muriel Bowser stood shoulder-to-shoulder Thursday touting lessons learned from last year and patrolling other controversial demonstrations.
Bowser said safety should not be a concerned, but understood why some are anxious. She offered up a strategy the public could employ to help keep the peace. "What if nobody bothered to pay attention to this nonsense, that we will hear spewed at Lafayette Park," she said, "but instead, stayed in their own communities, and talked about how we can live better together."
The protest and counter protests are scheduled to take place in the early evening on Sunday. Gray Television will have multiple crews on-hand to cover events as they unfold.