Permit issues, Airbnb cancellations for planned ‘Unite the Right’ event this weekend in Virginia
By Brian Seay
A flyer for the Aug. 12 event in Virginia. (Photo: Twitter)
A planned white nationalist rally in Virginia this weekend is becoming a hotbed of controversy.
The Unite the Right Free Speech Rally was that supposed to happen at Emancipation Park, formerly Robert E. Lee Park, on Saturday in Charlottesville, but on Monday, the city announced the rally would have to be held at a different park a mile away — a move being challenged by the ACLU, which is citing First Amendment concerns.
The location of the event is no accident. “Unite the Right” organizers sought to hold it there because of the symbolic significance of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city council has voted to remove the statue, but a court injunction prevented that from happening, at least until a hearing in November.
This isn’t the first time the statue has been at the center of controversy. In July, a few dozen members of the Ku Klux Klan held a torchlit demonstration at the statue, protesting its removal. About 1,000 counter-protestors showed up, and Charlottesville law enforcement spent more than $30,000 keeping the two groups separated.
On the Unite the Right Facebook event page, organizers say Saturday’s rally “seeks