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Heather Heyer's mother urges people "do not respond to violence"

Charlottesville one year later
Honoring legacy and message of Heather Heyer 07:28

The mother of Heather Heyer, the woman killed last year when a white nationalist rammed his car into counter-protesters in Charlottesville, is now warning people not to "respond to the violence" of the Unite the Right 2 rally. There's "no place for hate," Susan Bro said.

Bro spoke to CBS News' DeMarco Morgan ahead of the one-year anniversary of her daughter's death. James Alex Fields, who was seen attending the far-right Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, has been charged with plowing a car into counter-protesters, killing Heyer and wounding 19 others. The organizer of that rally, Jason Kessler, has organized a Unite the Right 2 rally on the one-year anniversary, to take place in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. 

Bro said the anniversary of her daughter's death is an "emotional roller coaster." 

"As long as I'm working, I'm not thinking too much or feeling too much," Bro said. "But I have to be honest that the weight of it is getting to me today and tomorrow."

A year after Charlottesville 03:01

Bro said it is "difficult to say" if the country has made progress in the year since her daughter's death. 

"What appeared to be closer together a year ago was not truly close together. It was more of an artificial covering over deep-seated wounds, a deep seated-infection in our society," Bro said. "I think last year's eruption gives us a little better understanding of how bad it is so that we can gradually and slowly heal. If you rush to heal, if you rush to grab each other and sing Kumbaya, we will be back here in a few years." 

Last year, President Trump was criticized after the attack for saying there were "very fine people" on both sides of the rally, seemingly equating the actions of white nationalists with counter-protesters. On Saturday morning, he tweeted that the "riots" in Charlottesville "led to death and division. We must come together as a nation."

Bro called it a "good tweet." When asked if she thought Mr. Trump could do more, Bro said she didn't know because she doesn't work on the presidential level.

"For me, change, real honest to gosh change starts at lower level government," Bro said. "Let's start with City Council. Let's start with midterm elections, talking to people in your neighborhood, office friends. Let's have real conversations with people around you. That is where big change is going to happen." 

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