'Unite the Right' organizer gets permit for 1-year anniversary rally in D.C.

Image of Jason Kessler's press conference the day after the deadly 'Unite the Right' rally |...
Image of Jason Kessler's press conference the day after the deadly 'Unite the Right' rally | WHSV file video(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 20, 2018 at 6:24 PM EDT
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Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler has received a permit for a rally in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 11 and 12 of this year — the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally that ended with deadly violence last year.

The permit allows for the two-day event at Lafayette Park in front of the White House, but Kessler, a white nationalist blogger, hasn't given up on holding another rally in Charlottesville the same weekend to mark the anniversary of Unite the Right.

"The Charlottesville rally is more about the monuments; the one in D.C. is about bringing civil rights abuse of the Unite the Right demonstrators to the attention of President Trump and the nation," Kessler said.

Kessler's request for a permit for Emancipation Park is making its way through federal court after the city denied it.

He said Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones was deposed last week, and he said his attorney, Elmer Woodard, will file a motion on Friday requesting a preliminary injunction to force the city to allow his Aug. 12 anniversary rally to take place.

Kessler said the approval in D.C. guarantees an event will take place in at least one location, and he said he and others are planning to attend both.

"The important thing is we're able to have contingencies so people are able to speak this year," Kessler said.

While he estimated 400 people would attend the Charlottesville rally on his permit application, he said there were likely to be significantly fewer than at last year's hate-fueled melee, where dozens of counterprotesters were injured and one killed when a car plowed into a crowd, in addition to two state troopers killed while leaving the rally in a helicopter that crashed.

"It's a smaller group of really brave people willing to do this," Kessler said.

He declined to name any groups or speakers who have signed up.