Charlottesville Man Applies for Permits to Counter Emancipation Park Rally Planned for August 12

Posted: Updated:
Walt Heinecke Walt Heinecke
McGuffey Park in Charlottesville McGuffey Park in Charlottesville
Justice Park in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE) Justice Park in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE)
Emancipation Park in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE) Emancipation Park in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE)

Applications have been submitted to Charlottesville for counter events in preparation for an August rally at Emancipation Park.

Walt Heinecke sent in an application to the city requesting two demonstration permits for August 12, the same day as white-activist Jason Kessler’s Unite the Right event.

Kessler is the founder and president of Unity and Security for America, which has described itself as "dedicated to defending Western Civilization including its history, culture and peoples while utterly dismantling Cultural Marxism."

Heinecke is hoping he can prevent arrests and clashing between supporters and protesters, which happened in Justice Park on July 8 when the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally.

"I was concerned after what happened at the KKK rally. I think the police declared an unlawful assembly really quickly," Heinecke said.

Police used tear gas on a group that had gathered on East Jefferson Street, and arrested 22 people on mostly obstruction-related charges.

"I wanted to have a place for protesters to come and have a lawful assembly so that they wouldn't get caught up in pepper spray or tear gas," said Heinecke.

Kessler has invited National Policy Institute President Richard Spencer, a white supremacist, to speak at the August event. White activists, those who support Confederate heritage, and other supporters are expected to rally at Emancipation Park between noon and 5 p.m.

Kessler has stated that his rally is in support of keeping the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the park, which had been previously known as Lee Park.

The counter events would be held in McGuffey and Justice parks. Heinecke said he selected the two parks based on the amount of protesters he expects, and so police presence would not have to be stretched out to different corners of the city.

Heinecke's permit applications specify times of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The permits for those two rally locations have not been approved by the city yet.

"I'm hoping that the city and city police department treat our protesters and our citizens with respect and dignity," Heinecke said.

Charlottesville SURJ (Showing Up For Racial Justice) and Solidarity Cville have both asked officials to revoke the permit for the “Unite the Right” rally.

The city and Charlottesville Police Department denied NBC29’s request for comment on this article.

  • Viewer Poll

  • Some Charlottesville councilors are considering removing the General Lee statue and / or renaming Lee Park. What do you think should be done?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee, keep park name
    373 votes
    Rename Lee Park, keep the statue
    1399 votes
    Remove the statue and rename the park
    3550 votes
    Don't change anything
    21710 votes
    None of the above
    875 votes
  • RELATED ARTICLES: In Depth: Central Virginia Debates over Civil War Era Displays and Monuments