A white nationalist rally in the heart of Washington DC has drawn two dozen demonstrators and thousands of chanting counter protesters on the one-year anniversary of racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A large police presence kept the two sides separated in Lafayette Square on Sunday, in front of the White House. After two hours and a few speeches, the "Unite the Right 2" rally ended early when it began to rain and two police vans took the demonstrators back to Virginia.
Sunday's events, while tense at times, were a far cry from the street brawls that broke out in downtown Charlottesville a year ago, when a local woman was killed by a man who drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters.
"Unite the Right 2" was denied a permit in Charlottesville this year, but did secure one for Washington with organisers expecting up to 400 protesters to attend.
At the head of the white nationalist group was Virginia activist Jason Kessler, who helped organise last year's event in Charlottesville. He emerged with a handful of fellow demonstrators from a subway station holding an American flag and walked toward the White House ringed by police, while counter protesters taunted the group and called them Nazis.
Dan Haught, a 54-year-old computer programmer from Washington, was attending his first protest at the White House holding a sign that said "Back under your rocks you Nazi clowns."
"We wanted to send a message to the world that we vastly outnumber them," Haught said.
Police said that as of 6pm (local time) on Sunday they had made no arrests and would not give a crowd estimate. Late in the day, a small group of counter protesters clashed with police in downtown Washington.
The violence last year in Charlottesville, sparked by white nationalists' outrage over a plan to remove a Confederate general's statue, convulsed the nation and sparked condemnation across the political spectrum. It also was one of the lowest moments of President Donald Trump's first year in office.
At the time, Trump said there were "very fine people" on both sides, spurring criticism that he was equating the counter protesters with the rally attendees, who included neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.
On Saturday, Trump condemned "all types of racism" in a Twitter post marking the anniversary.
Kessler said Sunday's rally was aimed at advocating for "free speech for everybody," and he blamed last year's violence in Charlottesville on other groups and the media.
He thought Sunday's rally went well in comparison.
"Everybody got the ability to speak and I think that was a major improvement over Charlottesville," Kessler told Reuters. "It was a precedent that had to be set. It was more important than anything."
The counter protest which began earlier in the day was a smattering of diverse groups - from black-clad anti-fascists, to supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement to families who brought children in strollers. Tourists took pictures and both protesters and observers zoomed around on electric scooters.