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story.lead_photo.caption Jason Kessler pushes through a crowd of protesters at the Charlottesville, Va., courthouse for a hearing in February. Kessler’s application for a permit to hold a “white civil rights” rally near the White House has been preliminarily approved by the National Park Service.

An organizer of a white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville, Va., where one woman died plans to hold a march across the street from the White House on the rally's anniversary in August, federal officials said Thursday.

The National Park Service has approved an application for a permit from the organizer, Jason Kessler, for an event on Aug. 11 and 12 that he described as a "white civil rights rally" for 400 people at Lafayette Park in Washington. Kessler submitted the permit request May 8 and it was granted the next day, but he has not yet received final approval because the Park Service has asked for additional logistical details about the rally, a spokesman said.

"The process itself is no different from anything else," Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said in an interview Thursday, referring to permit review. "The Park Service is content neutral when it comes to these sort of decisions."

Kessler was one of several white nationalists who organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last August, which drew hundreds of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and others, and quickly turned violent.

On the night of Aug. 11, they marched through the University of Virginia campus, brandishing torches and shouting anti-Semitic chants. The next day, they clashed with counterprotesters in the streets of Charlottesville in a confrontation that ultimately led to the death of Heather Heyer, 32, a counterprotester who was killed when a man drove into a crowd.

In December, city officials in Charlottesville denied a permit request from Kessler, as well as counterprotesters, to hold a rally on the anniversary because of public safety concerns. Kessler sued Charlottesville over its decision. In messages to his followers on Twitter, he vowed to find a new home for a march in August.

The purpose of the Washington rally, Kessler wrote in his permit application, is to protest "civil rights abuse in Charlottesville." Kessler did not immediately return an email seeking comment Thursday morning.

In his permit, he asked for law enforcement assistance, writing that the attendees would gather at a place convenient for officers and would march next to them to Lafayette Park to give speeches.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

As the Park Service considers final approval, it has asked for more details about the logistics of the event, including how the attendees would arrive, the route for their march and how organizers can ensure the public's safety. Litterst said the questions were standard for a permit request in Washington, except that park officials were placing an extra emphasis on public safety.

"For a First Amendment demonstration like this, once it's been approved, I can't say it's never been denied at this point but I haven't been aware of anything," Litterst said.

A Section on 06/22/2018

Print Headline: White-rights activist plans rally in capital

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  • ARMNAR
    June 22, 2018 at 9:03 a.m.

    I wonder if GeneralMac and HM2 will carpool?

  • mrcharles
    June 22, 2018 at 10:06 a.m.

    Ironically they will travel together on an a$$ !

    At least the highways in arkansas will less crowded during this exercise in free speech. In fact some counties may be almost vacant.

  • GeneralMac
    June 22, 2018 at 10:49 a.m.

    The hate group Black Lives Matter must be offended that they no longer have sole rights to
    racial protest marches.

    They should realize Barack HUSSEIN Obama, the race baiter, no longer is president.

  • RBear
    June 22, 2018 at 11:18 a.m.

    I'm guessing fake is booking his tickets to DC now. So glad I'll be long gone from DC before this gathering of idiots happens. I agree, mrcharles. Especially around white Harrison.

  • 3WorldState1
    June 22, 2018 at 11:45 a.m.

    Wonder if they support Trump? And why?

  • Illinoisroy
    June 22, 2018 at 11:55 a.m.

    GMac, race baiter? sounds like the pot calling the kettle black! Gotta love the irony of the last word in previous sentence. Remember the big scary black man isn't in office anymore, let it go. As for the other haters it is their 1st amendment right, unlike Supreme courts decision that corporations are people too and money is free speech.

  • 3WorldState1
    June 22, 2018 at 12:07 p.m.

    No one said it wasn't their right. And the ACLU has been fighting for their right to walk. But they also shouldn't show up armed. And at the end of the day they are still hateful biggets and racists. This country has no place for them.
    Maybe Trump will meet the rally and do a couple of cheers with them. A real President would speak to the nation after this "rally" and say there is no place in the US for this kind of hate. Soon we will have a real President again.

  • GeneralMac
    June 22, 2018 at 12:56 p.m.

    Only if the president says the same after the hate group Black Lives Matter has a march.

    Treat BOTH groups equal and there is no problem.

  • GeneralMac
    June 22, 2018 at 1:05 p.m.

    When a Democrat County Attorney in Minnesota releases EVIDENCE to show why a police officer will not be charged in the shooting of a Black, there should not be threat of retaliation.

    Yet, a Black female lawyer from Black Lives Matter told the County Attorney........" If the city burns, it's on YOU "

    If a member of a White group had made that threat when a ruling didn't agree with them, there would be condemnation all the way to the White House.

    Despite this making NATIONAL news, Barack HUSSEIN Obama remained silent.
    Yet, he stuck his nose into every other case involving Blacks that drew controversy.

  • LRDawg
    June 22, 2018 at 1:21 p.m.

    GenMac's just mad because he can't attend....his president messed his money up. Gas prices are too high for him to make the drive

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