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Charlottesville Businesses Worry Violent Rally Will Scare Tourists Away

Several downtown stores have put adult signs and placards declaring: “This is Our Town” and “If Equality and Diversity Aren’t for You, Then Neither Are We.”

Debbie Elliott/NPR


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Debbie Elliott/NPR

Several downtown stores have put adult signs and placards declaring: “This is Our Town” and “If Equality and Diversity Aren’t for You, Then Neither Are We.”

Debbie Elliott/NPR

Life in Charlottesville, Va., has been disrupted by a fatal assault during a white supremacist convene over a weekend. On a eve of a commemorative for one of a victims, counterprotester Heather Heyer, President Trump blamed those counterprotesters — what he called a “alt-left” – for stoking a violence.

After Trump’s remarks, Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy had to control his anger. He says a boss is display where his loyalties lie.

“That is usually intensely unsatisfactory that he would silver a tenure such as a ‘alt-left’ and try to place censure in some form or conform on individuals, who according to preaching members, were saving their lives,” Bellamy says.

Standing nearby a doubtful statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in a same park where Saturday’s convene erupted in violence, Bellamy says Trump’s summary encourages hatred groups to censor behind a First Amendment.

“So if these people wish to continue to come back, that’s on them. But they’re not acquire here,” Bellamy says. “I wish they got that summary shrill and clear.”

Chef/owner Brian Ashworth over a weekend ran neo-Nazis out of his grill restaurant, Ace Biscuit Barbecue, in Charlottesville, Va.

Debbie Elliott/NPR


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Debbie Elliott/NPR

Chef/owner Brian Ashworth over a weekend ran neo-Nazis out of his grill restaurant, Ace Biscuit Barbecue, in Charlottesville, Va.

Debbie Elliott/NPR

A tiny organisation of neo-Nazis got that summary during a internal grill joint, Ace Biscuit Barbecue. Owner Brian Ashworth says he had a fight with a organisation of business on Sunday.

“One of them started putting Hitler salutes out there and that’s when we told them they had to go,” Ashworth says.

He’s indignant they chose Charlottesville as a battleground.

“If they’re dependent with a organisation that’s compared with fatal assault or assault of any kind, they’re not acquire here,” Ashworth says.

Downtown, many restaurants and storefronts along an 8-block walking mall sealed emporium altogether on Saturday, a day of a rally.

“It’s been devastating,” says Joan Fenton, who owns a present emporium and women’s wardrobe store on a mall.

She’s conduct of a downtown business association, and says a biggest fear is that people will be fearful to visit.

“This was like a small advance of people who have left town, though as a outcome people consider maybe they shouldn’t come to Charlottesville,” she says. “That’s not who we are.”

Several downtown stores have put adult signs and placards declaring: “This is Our Town” and “If Equality and Diversity Aren’t for You, Then Neither Are We.”

Mike Rodi initial put one in a window of his restaurant, Rapture, before a KKK convene progressing this summer.

“If people were going to come out in support of a Klan they indispensable to know on walking into my restaurant: We do have different customers; we do have different employees,” Rodi says.

“If they are going to have a problem with that, they shouldn’t even step inside.”

Rodi’s grill is on a dilemma where a automobile plowed into counterprotesters. He says it feels like a city is underneath siege.

“My wish is a lot of people arise adult and contend wow, ‘What did we do?’ ” Rodi says. “And that any offer calls to movement by these kinds of groups will outcome in discontinued return.”

But Rodi says he fears President Trump’s comments will usually offer to embolden hatred groups, creation it easier for them to get their subsequent assent to denote in Charlottesville.