Jason Kessler scraps battle to host Unite the Right anniversary rally

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – AUGUST 13: Jason Kessler, an organizer of “Unite the Right” rally, tries to speak while being shouted down by counter protesters outside the Charlottesville City Hall on August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The city of Charlottesville remains on edge following violence at a ‘Unite the Right’ rally held by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The man behind the violent Unite the Right rally that left one dead and many others injured during peripheral protests almost a year ago in Charlottesville was in federal court Tuesday, fighting with the city to try and host an anniversary event this summer.

After the hearing, WCAV reported that Jason Kessler is no longer seeking a permit to hold the Unite the Right anniversary rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and 12.

Kessler, who arrived to the hearing nearly 45 minutes late, according to WCAV,  and at one point the judge ordered a recess at one point, so Kessler’s attorneys could go and find him. Kessler then withdrew his motion to overturn the city’s denial of his permit and the judge dismissed the case.

Charlottesville city officials said that Kessler kept changing event details of the event, to the point his vision no longer resembled his original proposal. The original permit application stated that 400 people would attend, but the number dropped to about two dozen, WCAV reported.

Adding to the uncertainly, the city also said Kessler was unclear about whether the event will take place on Aug. 11 or Aug. 12. Furthermore, city official claimed Kessler deleted messages about the planning of the event that he is unable to control what groups may come to participate.

Kessler confirmed plans for any event the weekend of Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, WCAV said. He has applied for a permit to hold an event on Aug. 12 at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C.. The National Park Service approved his application, but no permit has been issued.

A spokesperson from NPS said they are gathering information about the details of the event from organizers so they can create the permit, according to affiliate WDCW.  The event is slated to be a two-day rally starting August 11 at 8 a.m. and ending August 12 at 8 p.m.

Kessler wrote on the application that attendees will march, rally, and give speeches at the event. Kessler also wrote that members of Antifa affiliated groups will try to disrupt.

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