White nationalist rally planner sues city over permit denial

This July 8, 2017 photo shows members of the KKK escorted by police past a large group of protesters during a KKK rally in Charlottesville, Va. Some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederacy tried and failed to do in the 1860s: secession from the Union. So-called Southern nationalists are within the group of demonstrators who are fighting the removal of Confederate monuments around the South. They say it’s time for Southern states to secede again and become independent of the United States.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (AP) — An organizer of last summer’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville is suing the Virginia city over its denial of his request to hold an anniversary event.

The Daily Progress reports Jason Kessler filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday. He argues that his First Amendment rights were violated when the city denied his permit application. Charlottesville rejected the application in December, saying the proposed event would present a danger to public safety.

Kessler is a Charlottesville resident who was the primary organizer of the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” event, which descended into violence. The day ended with three people dead.

In his application, Kessler described the anniversary event as a “rally against government civil rights abuse and failure to follow security plans for political dissidents.”

A spokesman for the city says it has no comment on the lawsuit.

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