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Charlottesville Organizer Initially Approved for Another Rally in DC

The so-called "white civil rights" rally is going to be held on the anniversary of "Unite the Right," too.

by Allie Conti
Jun 21 2018, 4:44pm

Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

A "white civil rights" demonstration, planned by the main organizer of the "Unite the Right" rally, has been initially approved for the one-year anniversary of the deadly events in Charlottesville, WUSA9 reports. This time, it's set to be held at Lafayette Square, which is directly across from the White House.

White Nationalists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler were behind the August 2017 event that brought together a broad and unprecedented coalition of racists, and ultimately turned deadly when one of them drove a car into counter-protestors, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Now Kessler has received approval from the National Park Service to hold an event to protest the "civil rights abuse in Charlottesville." It's unclear exactly what those civil rights violations were.

Kessler originally applied to hold the event in Charlottesville, though he was denied. A spokesperson for the National Park Service told the Los Angeles Times that the agency only considers the safety of the public and the park's resources when making its decision, and doesn't consider the purpose of the event at all. In Charlottesville, the rally took place in part to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue. But in DC, Kessler and his cronies would be surrounding an enormous statue of Andrew Jackson, the president who forcibly relocated Native Americans.

The permit has not yet been granted, and Kessler alluded to one potential snag in his application. "Members of Antifa-affiliated groups will try to disrupt," he wrote.

He estimates that, if he does get permission, about 400 people—presumably including alt-right trolls, neo-Nazis, Confederate-lovers, and garden-variety racists in Polo shirts—would make their way to the nation's capital, on August 11 and 12, just as they did in Charlottesville a year before.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.