(Via LA Times) – Less than a year after deadly clashes at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the main organizer has gained federal approval for another demonstration — across the street from the White House.
The National Park Service announced Wednesday it had approved the “white civil rights” rally for Lafayette Square the weekend of Aug. 11-12. That is the anniversary of the “Unite the Right” protest, which sparked a national furor with its blatant displays of racism. President Trump amplified the controversy when he initially failed to condemn the white supremacists.
In the request he submitted on May 8, Jason Kessler, who was behind the Charlottesville rally, estimated that 400 people would attend and said the purpose was to protest “civil rights abuse in Charlottesville.”
The park service is now gathering information from Kessler to issue a permit for the demonstration, said agency spokesman Mike Litterst. The permit would specify the timing, boundaries, sound regulations and liability rules for the event.
Litterst said the process “will ensure public safety and the protection of park resources are taken into consideration” and noted that the government does not “consider the content of the message presented.”
Lafayette Square sits just north of the White House, on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Charlottesville rally — organized to protest the removal of Confederate monuments — was one of the largest U.S. gatherings of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other extremist groups in more than a decade.