The National Park Service has approved an application for a year anniversary commemoration of Charlottesville’s violent white supremacist rally to be held in Washington, DC.
DC’s WUSA9 reported that NPS approved the application but has not yet issued permits for the rally set to be held at Lafayette Square, a seven-acre park just north of the White House. The event is to be organized by Jason Kessler, the organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was hit and killed by an alleged white supremacist.
“This year we have a new purpose,” Kessler said, discussing the upcoming rally. “That’s to talk about the civil rights abuse that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.”
Kessler claimed it wasn’t his fault that “that stuff happened,” and said that in the months since the rally ostensibly intended to “defend” a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, “white civil rights” have taken a hit.
“We’re not able to peacefully assemble. We’re not able to speak,” he told WUSA. “I keep telling people if your right to rally and your right to protest means that someone else’s life might be in danger, then it is no longer free speech but it is hate speech.”
Kessler initially tried to get a permit to return to Charlottesville on the anniversary of the violent rally, but the city denied him — a decision he’s sued the city over.