Charlottesville denies permit for Aug. 12 white nationalist anniversary rally

WASHINGTON — Jason Kessler, an organizer of the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally that brought hundreds of armed white nationalists and scores of counter-protesters to Charlottesville, had requested a permit for Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, 2018. The permit was for “a rally against civil rights abuse and failure to follow security plans for political dissidents.”

On Monday, City Manager Maurice Jones denied the request to hold the rally in and near Emancipation Park — the site of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that the city is trying to remove.

“The proposed demonstration or special event will present a danger to public safety, and cannot be accommodated within the area applied for, or within a reasonable allocation of City funds and/or police resources,” wrote Jones in the application denial.

Kessler responded to the city’s ruling on Twitter:


Charlottesville officials also denied applications for four other events that would have been held in or near the park, on Aug. 12, 2018.

The city is still dealing with the aftermath of this year’s “Unite the Right” rally.

On Dec. 1, former federal prosecutor Tim Heaphy, who was hired by the city, released his findings of an independent review of how Charlottesville handled the rally. Heaphy said Charlottesville police failed to protect the public.

On Thursday, 20-year-old James Alex Fields is due in a Charlottesville courtroom for a hearing. He is charged with murder in the fatal car attack that killed 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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