Jason Kessler applies for permit to hold 2018 ‘Unite The Right’ anniversary rally

Kessler’s permit request asks for Emancipation Park on Aug. 11 and 12, 2018

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Jason Kessler organized this past August’s rally, which left three dead and dozens injured.

Anna Higgins | Cavalier Daily

Jason Kessler, the man who organized the violent white nationalist Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12 that resulted in three deaths and dozens more injured, has filed for a permit for a two-day event to take place on the one-year anniversary of the rally in Charlottesville next summer. 

The permit was applied for on Monday, and describes plans to hold another rally in Emancipation Park on Aug. 11 and 12, 2018. 

Kessler had difficulty obtaining a permit to hold the rally in Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, last summer. City Manager Maurice Jones announced that the permit application would be approved only if the demonstration was held in McIntire Park. Kessler responded with a civil rights lawsuit, and was granted a preliminary injunction allowing the “Unite the Right” rally to remain in Emancipation Park.

Law enforcement officials declared the rally an unlawful assembly just before noon on Aug. 12 after sporadic fighting broke out and numerous chemical irritants were used on the crowd. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency in response to the event. 

The rally became deadly when a car drove into a crowd of people, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring at least 35 people. Police arrested 20-year-old Ohio resident James Alex Fields Jr., who is now charged with second-degree murder and is facing other charges. A second incident occurred when a Virginia State Police helicopter that was assisting law enforcement crashed near the Birdwood Golf Course, killing Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. 

The Charlottesville City Council is planning to hold a public hearing next Monday to discuss a review of the incident by former federal prosecutor Tim Heaphy. 

In a statement Wednesday, Mayor Mike Signer said, “On this development I believe public safety should be our paramount concern, with the benefit of recommendations from the Heaphy report and upcoming advice from our counsel on how to reform our permitting for public events.”

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