The organizer behind last year’s violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, today had a permit approved for a white power rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
The National Park Service approved a permit for Jason Kessler to hold Unite the Right 2 demonstration Sunday in Lafayette Park across from the White House.
Kessler, who requested the permit to allow 400 people to demonstrate there back in May, said the event is “to protest civil rights abuse in Charlottesville Va/white civil rights rally.”
The NPS also approved a permit for a counter-protest to take place that same day, which is the one-year anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville at the first Unite the Right rally.
Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a white nationalist drove his vehicle through a crowd of counter-protesters, and dozens of others were injured in the melee. Two state troopers were also killed in a helicopter crash.
On Wednesday, Virginia and Charlottesville declared a state of emergency ahead of this weekend’s Unite the Right 2 protest in Washington. Permit requests to hold it in Charlottesville were denied, CNN reported.
“We are treating this as a statewide event,” an emergency official said at a news conference.
Street closures, parking restrictions and other safety measures will be in effect throughout the weekend in Charlottesville, officials said.
White power rally and counter-protest logistics
According to Unite the Right’s website, protesters will assemble at a metro station in Vienna, Virginia, at 2 p.m. before heading to the Foggy Bottom station to march to Lafayette Square at 5 p.m. The white power rally is expected to last until 7:30 p.m.
According to WTOP-FM, counterprotests will take place around Freedom Plaza and Lafayette Square.
The station reported that Washington police, U.S. Park Police and the Secret Service are expected to outline a safety plan on Thursday.
President Donald Trump has yet to comment on the white power rally taking place near the White House. After the violence at the first Unite the Right, he said “many fine people” were among the white nationalists and later said “both sides” were to blame for the deadly events.