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Deadly white nationalist rally set to have sequel by the White House

Josh Jackman June 22, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - JULY 08: The Ku Klux Klan protests on July 8, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The KKK is protesting the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, and calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

Charlottesville protesters (Chet Strange/Getty)

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.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 13:  Counter protesters confront Jason Kessler, an organizer of "Unite the Right" rally, after Kessler tried to speak outside the Charlottesville City Hall on August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The city of Charlottesville remains on edge following violence at a 'Unite the Right' rally held by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right'  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Counter-protesters confront Jason Kessler after the deadly Charlottesville rally (Win McNamee/Getty)

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.”

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" (L) clash with counter-protesters as they enter Emancipation Park during the Unite the Right rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-facist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
White nationalists and neo-Nazis clash with counter-protesters (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

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.”

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 13:  Jason Kessler, an organizer of "Unite the Right" rally, tries to speak while being shouted down by counter protesters outside the Charlottesville City Hall on August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The city of Charlottesville remains on edge following violence at a 'Unite the Right' rally held by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right'  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Jason Kessler (Win McNamee/Getty)

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.”

White supremacists in Charlottesville (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
White supremacists in Charlottesville (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty)

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.

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19: Thousands of protesters prepare to march in Boston against a planned 'Free Speech Rally' just one week after the violent 'Unite the Right' rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured on August 19, 2017 in Boston, United States. Although the rally organizers stress that they are not associated with any alt-right or white supremacist groups, the city of Boston and Police Commissioner William Evans are preparing for possible confrontations at the afternoon rally. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Thousands of protesters marched against hate a week after the Charlottesville rally (Getty)

“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.

More: Charlottesville, jason kessler, KKK, Politics, US, US, Virginia, white nationalism

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