In case you haven't had your daily jaw drop of the day, here you go. According to USA Today,the Charlottesville white nationalist rally might have an anniversary event. I don't know about y'all, but I'm feeling nauseous.
Jason Kessler, the organizer of the infamous Unite the Right white nationalist rally that occurred on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, reportedly filed for a permit to hold an anniversary rally in Emancipation Park, the same location as the previous demonstration. To no one's surprise, the request was denied by city officials, citing the reason as Kessler's inability to keep the the event organized — thus leading to violence from the crowd. Upon his request being denied, Kessler filed a lawsuit against the city on March 6 blaming the city of Charlottesville for the violence that occurred during the 2017 rally, and claiming his First Amendment rights are being violated.
The city told USA Today that denying Kessler's permit was done out of concerns regarding safety and the crowd the anniversary rally would potentially draw.
The city said,
The proposed demonstration or special event will present a danger to public safety and cannot be accommodated within the area applied for, or within a reasonable allocation of city funds and police resources. The applicant requests that police keep opposing sides separate and that police 'leave' a 'clear path into event without threat of violence' but the city does not have the ability to determine or sort individuals according to what 'side' they are on and no reasonable allocation of city resources or funds can guarantee that event participants will be free of any 'threats of violence.'
The "threats of violence" the city refers to are the violent brawls that occurred between alt-right protestors and counter protestors at the Unite the Right rally on the afternoon of Aug. 12, 2017. Kessler organized the rally to protest the removal of a Confederate general statue from Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park. Later that day, things turned violent when brawls between alt-righters and counter protestors began. As the fights escalated, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, saying it was "now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers."
Things came to a climax when later that day a man attending the rally allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors, resulting in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than 30 people. The alleged attacker was charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree murder, and will go to trial in November 2018.
Videos from the Charlottesville Unite the Right protest are chilling to say the least, and the thought of having to relive that moment again makes me actually ill. The fact that Kessler wants to hold an anniversary event celebrating a demonstration where someone was killed is absolutely not okay. No one wants to see a tragic event like that happen again, and celebrating a rally where it happened is really out of line.
At the time, the response to the violence was disappointing, at best.
Shortly after news of the violent rally broke on Aug. 12, President Donald Trump delivered a speech about Charlottesville in which he condemned the violence and bigotry that occurred "on both sides" during the rally.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. On many sides. Many sides. This has been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long long time.
I think the idea to hold a Charlottesville anniversary rally is absolutely absurd, but white nationalists are still trying to make their voices heard. Richard Spencer, a white nationalist and self-claimed leader of the alt-right movement, spoke to a group at Michigan State University on March 6 stating that the opposition he and his movement faces proves that his fight matters.
We entered the real world in 2017. We entered in a big way. We went to Brooklyn. We went to Charlottesville and we shocked the world with a tiki torch rally. Charlottesville was a massive display of energy and defiance. Charlottesville was a bit of a disaster, but it is one for the history books. It had consequences. Things got real.
Just remember. No matter what they may say or do, hate never wins.