Far-right Organizers of Charlottesville Rally Get Approval for D.C. March Near White House

The National Parks Service approved, though not yet given a permit, for a far-right rally near the White House in Washington on the first anniversary of the 2017 rally in Virginia, that turned deadly

File photo: Demonstrators carry confederate and Nazi flags during the Unite the Right free speech rally at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA on August 12, 2017.
Emily Molli / NurPhoto

The organizer of a far-right rally last year in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly is planning to hold a rally near the White House in Washington on the first anniversary of the event, federal officials said on Wednesday. 

Jason Kessler filed an application last month to hold what he described as a "white civil rights rally" on August 11-12 across from the White House. The National Park Service has approved it, although has not issued a permit yet, Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said in an email. 

Kessler organized in August 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville that drew international attention when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one woman. U.S. President Donald Trump inflamed tensions when he said both sides were to blame for the violence. 

The rally in Charlottesville, home to the flagship campus of the University of Virginia, followed months of protests over the city's proposed removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 

Kessler previously has denied the Virginia event was intended to provoke violence, contending the counterprotesters sparked the fighting and blaming police for failing to protect his group. He did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. 

In a redacted copy of the application posted online, Kessler estimated 400 people would attend the Washington rally, and added he would work with law enforcement during the event. 

Kessler also has applied to hold an event in Charlottesville, but that was denied due to concerns over public safety, according to Virginia ABC TV affiliate WSET.