If the racist “alt-right" wants to unite again in 2018, it may not be in Charlottesville.
The city on Monday turned down a petition by white nationalist Jason Kessler to hold a rally in the college town on Aug. 11 and 12, 2018 – the first anniversary of the deadly “Unite The Right” rally.
In a letter posted online by Kessler, Charlottesville Events Coordinator Maurice Jones recounted the violence that accompanied the rally earlier this year in rejecting the proposed anniversary gathering.
“The proposed demonstration or special event will present a danger to public safety …,” Jones wrote.
The rally earlier this year resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, a counter-protestor, who died after being struck by a car. James Alex Fields, Jr., has been charged with murder after police concluded he intentionally drove the vehicle into a crowd of people.
Kessler mocked Heyer's death on Twitter, calling her a "fat disgusting communist," before deleting the tweet which he blamed on drugs and alcohol.
Kessler, who is behind a new white nationalist organization called "The New Byzantium Project," took to Twitter and Gab, the white nationalist social media site, to criticize the decision and promise to sue the city over the rejection.
Kessler also pledged to hold the rally next year anyway.
“The *initial* permit decision is bogus. The rationale they give for denying it almost makes it seem like they want me to win,” Kessler tweeted. “See you guys in court!”
How much support Kessler gets from other alt-righters and affiliated groups remains to be seen.
Many, including self-proclaimed alt-right intellectual leader Richard B. Spencer, distanced themselves from Kessler after the “Unite The Right” rally.
Kessler and others are being sued in federal court by the City of Charlottesville and people impacted by the rally.
A counter protestor, 20-year-old Deandre Harris, suffered a concussion and multiple injuries after allegedly being beaten by Unite The Right supporters in a parking garage. Three people were charged with attacking Harris.
A neo-Nazi, 36-year-old Christopher Cantwell, was released this week on bail after being arrested for actions during a tiki torch march in which he and other alt-righters chanted “Jews. Will Not. Replace Us.”