Hundreds Call on Charlottesville City Council to Cancel August 12 Rally
Hundreds of people are calling for Charlottesville City Council to revoke the permit of a controversial rally set for August.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Hundreds of people are calling for Charlottesville City Council to revoke the permit of a controversial rally set for August. Monday night, a robust crowd took their passionate message directly to City Councilors.
More than 200 people packed Charlottesville City Hall with signs in hand.
"I can very easily see this just eroding and erupting throughout the streets of Charlottesville and putting our citizens in danger," Don Gathers, who wants the permit revoked, said.
Speaker after speaker asked City Council to revoke the permit for a “Unite the Right” rally planned for Aug. 12 in Emancipation Park.
"If there is a reasonable assumption or appearance of public safety threats, that it is grounds for to revoke the permit. So we are asking on those grounds,” Emily Grocenski, who wants permit, revoked, said.
The city says its hands are tied and did try to find a legal way to stop the rally. The mayor and other councilors are worried about August's turnout and want city staff to "review other possible locations.”
"So you know that's the great thing about living not only in the City of Charlottesville but living in America, free speech and First Amendment right for everyone,” Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy said.
White activist Jason Kessler will rally in the park, boasting hundreds of supporters will turn out to support keeping a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee.
"A five-hour block with over 400 angry folks coming in spewing just hatred and vitriol can truly be a problem and I don't know how you can control that," Gathers said.
Kessler did not attend Monday's City Council meeting. He's out of town and said he would address the media Tuesday, if necessary.