Charlottesville Mulling Decision for Special Events At Downtown Parks
The clock is ticking on a pending permit requests from Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler, and Brian Lambert. Both want to hold events at Charlottesville parks on August 12, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The clock is ticking on a pending permit request from Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler.
The self-proclaimed white activist wants to hold another rally in Emancipation Park, exactly one year after the deadly and violent events connected to August 12.
According to an application filed with Charlottesville, Kessler wants to hold a two-day “rally against government civil rights abuse and failure to follow security plans for political dissidents.”
Kessler’s application also states, “we are opposing any changes to Lee (Emancipation) Park and memorializing the sacrifices made by political dissidents in Lee Park August 12th, 2017."
A spokesperson said the city's legal team, City Manager Maurice Jones and other staff members are reviewing Kessler's permit request.
City Hall is expected to make a decision by Monday, December 11. Officials are expected to either approve or deny the permit, though they are able to delay a decision.
"The best thing the city could do seems to me is to deny it based on public safety and danger and so on, and sort it out in court, or through further negotiations. And basically say to them, ‘if you want to have your thing out in McIntire Park, that's fine but we've seen what happens at Emancipation Park,” said legal analyst Lloyd Snook.
Kessler claimed on social media he will sue the city if his permit is denied. In a statement to NBC29, he said:
“Charlottesville City Council is not a dictatorship that can deny rights to American citizens who want speak and assemble. They negligently and maliciously conspired to set up a volatile situation they could use to shut down the first lawfully permitted rally. And we all know why they did it. Wes Bellamy himself said it best, “I don’t like white people” and “I hate seeing them around town”. That’s why we’re going to do this again and again until they get it right.”
NBC29 has also learned that a Kessler associate, Brian Lambert, has applied for dual permits for the same weekend.
Lambert wants to hold a "President Trump appreciation weekend" in both “McGuffy” [sic] and Justice parks.
A decision on Lambert’s two permits is expected by Wednesday, December 13.
Both Kessler and Lambert are requesting police officers to assist with keeping opposing sides separated during their events. Their permits also state that they expect 400 people to attend each event.