Jason Kessler, a white supremacist and organizer of last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, has reportedly obtained approval from the Park Service to hold a “white civil rights” rally at Lafayette Square in DC on August 12—the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally.
The Washington Post reports:
Jason Kessler, who organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville with Richard Spencer and other white supremacist leaders, submitted a National Mall Special Event permit request on May 8 to hold a “white civil rights” rally in Lafayette Square “protesting civil rights abuse in Charlottesville.”
The Park Service approved the request but has not yet issued a permit. The news was first reported by WUSA-TV. A Park Service spokesman said the agency is gathering information from the organizers on details of the event, and that information will be used to create the permit.
Kessler is also attempting to hold an August 12 rally in Charlottesville, and sued the city of Charlottesville in March for denying his application. He told the Washington Post that if he wins, he’ll do rallies in both cities. In April, Kessler was banned from the campus of the University of Virginia—from which he graduated—after the school said they had received several reports from students that he had threatened them.
In Kessler’s National Park Service application, he lists the start time as 8 AM on August 11 and the end time at 8 PM on August 12. In the same application, Kessler lists the event purposes as “protesting civil rights abuse in Charlottesville/white civil rights rally.” He also wrote that “members of Antifa related groups will try to disrupt.”
Although Kessler was granted approval from the NPS, he hasn’t actually received a permit yet, the Post reports.
In a now-deleted tweet from just seven days after the rally, Kessler went on a rant about Heyer, who was killed by 20-year old James Fields Jr., a rally attendee, when Fields drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd. Fields also injured 35. “Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.” Kessler said.
After several other prominent white supremacists like Richard Spencer denounced him, Kessler blamed it on stress and Ambien:
“I repudiate the heinous tweet that was sent from my account last night. I’ve been under a crushing amount of stress and death threats. I’m taking ambien, xanax,and I had been drinking last night. I sometimes wake up having done strange things I don’t remember.”
“I am not surprised at him holding a rally away from Charlottesville, where he is not welcome,” Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, told the Post. “It will be interesting to see how the citizens of D.C. and others respond to his rally.”
You can read Kessler’s application for the Lafayette Square event, which was made public by the National Park Service, below.