Charlottesville Rally Organizer Withdraws Bid to Hold Anniversary Event

Charlottesville 3.0, Charlottesville, white nationalist, Charlottesville
Al Jazeera English/Twitter

The organizer of last August’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, withdrew his request to hold an anniversary event, NBC Washington reports.

Lawyers for Jason Kessler made the announcement during a federal court appearance on Tuesday.

Kessler sued Charlottesville in March, stating that the city violated his First Amendment right of free speech when it didn’t grant him a permit.

He sought a preliminary injunction that would force the city to issue a permit for next month’s rally, according to NBC Washington.

“He ordinarily has good reasons for what he does. I don’t know what it is right now,” Kessler lawyer James Kolenich told reporters.

NBC Washington reports that the rally can still take place since the city doesn’t issue permits for events that have fewer than 50 people.

On Aug. 12, Kessler held a “Unite the Right” rally to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The event brought out hundreds of white supremacists and counter-protestors, who fought in the streets.

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Heather Heyer, 32, was killed by James Fields Jr., 21, when he drove his car into the crowd. He was charged with murder under Virginia state law and for a hate crime in federal court, per reports.

Despite Kessler withdrawing his request for the rally, officers are still conducting public safety measures for the anniversary.

“We understand that the weekend and that day has national significance and even international significance, so we are going to be prepared for that weekend to come regardless,” Police Chief Rashall Brackney told NBC.


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