Deadly white nationalist rally set to have sequel by the White House
The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville – which saw a car driven into anti-racism campaigners, killing activist Heather Heyer – is set to have a sequel on its anniversary.
Jason Kessler, one of the people who organised the Unite the Right march last year, plans to hold a “white civil rights” rally opposite the White House “protesting civil rights abuse in Charlottesville,” according to The Washington Post.
And the planned rally on August 12 has cleared its first hurdle, gaining initial approval from the National Park Service to hold the event in Lafayette Square – the park directly across from the White House.
The Charlottesville march featured chants of “f**k you faggots”, with attendees holding Confederate flags and other racist symbols.
The event resulted in riots, violent clashes and – ultimately – the death of Heyer, a 32-year-old anti-fascism protester.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre deemed the protest, which is believed to have attracted up to 6,000 people, as the “largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States”.
Charlottesville’s mayor at the time, Mike Signer, apologised in the aftermath of the rally, which he called a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”
A Park Service spokesman emphasised that his agency is still gathering details about the DC march from its organisers, which will inform whether the event takes place or not.
Kessler initially wanted to hold the anniversary march in Charlottesville, but the Virginian city rejected his request. He is currently in the process of suing the city.
The organiser, who said he expected 400 people to attend the rally in DC, tweeted a week after Heyer’s death that she “was a fat, disgusting Communist,” adding that “Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.”
He said his account had been hacked, before backtracking and blaming his tweet on “stress & death threats,” as well as the fact that he had been “taking ambien, xanax and I had been drinking last night.”
Heyer mother, Susan Bro, said: “I am not surprised at him holding a rally away from Charlottesville, where he is not welcome.
“It will be interesting to see how the citizens of D.C. and others respond to his rally.”
Kessler said that he was attempting to hold a DC rally because “white people are being denied the ability to organise in political organisations the way other groups do, free of harassment, to face the issues important to us.”
White people are allowed to organise in many political organisations.
United Church of Christ minister Seth Wispelwey, who formed Congregate Charlottesville after the white supremacist rally in his city, said the prospective DC march should be blocked.
“The language of white civil rights is cover for white-supremacist ideology,” Wispelwey said.
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“We also know that if we care about our country’s future we can’t let this fascist plan go forward.
“I would urge people of conscience to show solidarity with the people of DC against this racial terror.”
A resolution to condemn neo-Nazis and hate was killed off in just 36 seconds in Tennessee, in March.
The motion simply aimed to “denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violent terrorism, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis,” but it died in less than a minute.