White nationalist sues to hold another rally in Charlottesville

A federal judge will decide later this month if the white nationalist who organized last year's deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville will get to hold a "Unite the Right 2" there on the anniversary next month.
By Rick Docksai | Nov 28, 2018
Jason Kessler, the white nationalist who organized the deadly August 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is suing to challenge Charlottesville's refusal to let him host another rally on the event's anniversary next month. A federal court announced Friday that it will schedule a hearing for July 24 to consider Kessler's lawsuit.

Kessler's lawsuit is against the city of Charlottesville and its city manager for turning down his request for a permit to hold a "Unite the Right 2" rally on August 11-12. Senior U.S. District Judge Norman Moon will rule on the lawsuit at the July 24th hearing, which will take place in Charlottesville federal court.

If Moon rules in Kessler's favor, Charlottesville will have to let Kessler's rally go forward. The city will then have only three weeks to make all the necessary preparations, including amassing enough ground security to avert a repeat of last year's violence.

Last year's rally, which launched to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue, broke out into fights between attendees and counter-protesters the morning of the event. One counter-protester died when white nationalist James Alex Fields drove his car into a crowd, and two state troopers watching the unfolding mayhem died when their helicopter crashed.

City Manager Maurice Jones expressed concern about repeat violence. He told the court that three weeks might not be enough time for the city to prepare.

But Kessler laid the blame for last year's violence on the city. He told reporters that city officials skimped on police security, which allowed hostilities to escalate.

"No one would be able to hold a safe event under the circumstancesCharlottesvillecreated last year when they rescinded police protection at the 11th hour and let a violent heckler's veto play out on the streets of their city,"Kessler said.

 

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