What If They Held a Rally and Nobody Came?

Jason Kessler outside a Charlottesville courthouse in February. Photo credit: Daily Progress

Jason Kessler, organizer of Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year that turned deadly and helped polarize the nation, wants to hold a one-year anniversary rally. It’s not clear from this article in the Daily Progress what he hopes to accomplish, other than to maintain his high profile as Alt-Right provocateur and most hated man in Charlottesville.

Kessler should have the same right as any American citizen to organize peaceful rallies and demonstrations, no matter how unpopular his beliefs. The emphasis is on peaceful. His track record in that regard is not the best.

Charlottesville officials, traumatized by the events last year, appear to be looking for any reason they can find to deny him a permit. Adjustments Kessler has made in his plans — the number of participants he’s estimating has dropped from 400 initially to “two dozen” — make him “an unreliable partner who has and will make it very difficult for the city to adequately prepare for his event if it is forced to grant him a permit,” city attorneys wrote in a brief Friday.

The fact that Kessler now is estimating a smaller crowd should be a point in his favor. No matter. If he does get permission to hold the rally, I would not be surprised if hundreds of counter-demonstrators show up. The far right and far left feed on one another, in effect justifying each other’s existence.

Just let Kessler have his little rally. Ignore it and let it fizzle. For a publicity hound like him, that would be the worst outcome possible.

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6 responses to “What If They Held a Rally and Nobody Came?”

  1. LarrytheG Avatar

    I think the tendency to blame Charlottesville for an incompetent response is totally undermined if you look at the then planned idea of having a similar demonstration in Richmond and people were apoplectic with fear and loathing because primarily authorities did not think they could prohibit weapons – as has been done in places like Seattle and Boston – very effectively.

    Whether Kessler or anyone else of his ilk say they are going to hold more “demonstrations” – the same problem will come back unless and until – there is a way to deal with the weapons.

    When you have a crowd of people that are armed with deadly weapons and you ask the authorities and police to “keep it peaceful”.. it’s a joke.

    If someone points a gun at someone else – and the favor is returned … what are the police going to do? What if you have a bunch of folks openly carrying weapons ON BOTH SIDES and brandishing them towards each other?

    At that point, it don’t matter if the name of the place is Charlottesville or Richmond or any other place – the results are likely to be similar.

    we need to acknowledge this when we discuss it.

  2. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    I’d like to see Northam step up and state quite clearly that he will use the resources of Virginia to ensure people can exercise their First Amendment rights but in an environment where not even a slight risk of violence will be tolerate. It’s what McAuliffe should have done. I think Northam’s a bit more of a public servant than just a politician, so I’m hopeful he will do a much better job.

    It’s also my understanding that once a person engaging in open carry does anything that looks the least bit threatening, they’ve crossed over the line to common law assault and can be arrested/disarmed.

  3. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals just struck a Hawaiian law that limited a person’s right to carry arms openly to his or her home. The court held the 2nd Amendment guarantees a person’s right to carry arms protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. The same court held earlier that there was no constitutional right to concealed carry.


  4. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Rally is off, the TeeVee news reports. Good. Hope it sticks and the weekend passes peacefully.

    The Ninth Circuit ruling would not prevent Virginia from adding “no weapons” as a condition of a permit to demonstrate, and immediately revoking that permit when one is seen. And frankly it’s the bats, sticks, bottles of liquid and mace that are most likely to show up in the initial violence, and there is no Second Amendment protection for that crap. Pat ’em all down on both sides.

  5. CrazyJD Avatar

    Bacon has it right as usual. If the left were smart, they would do what the City of Skokie, Illinois did after the case was litigated to the Supremes and the Supremes said Skokie had to allow the Nazis to march. Skokie, mostly Jewish, simply ignored the rally. A small crowd (10? 15?) showed up and there was nobody else there to fight with. The rally was an epic fail.

    But the left is not smart.
    Actually, smarts probably have nothing to do with it. The left wants to pick a fight because it suits their agenda.

    How about this instead? Charlottesville should issue warnings to its citizens, widely disseminated, that it will not oversee the march except to vigorously defend property, that anyone who doesn’t want to get hurt between the rally hours of x and y should stay away from the rally and downtown, that after those hours they will vigorously arrest and beat heads, but in the meantime, you guys just have at it. I wonder how many from each side would show up?

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      The people of Slokie, IL showed the way to ensure the weakness and failure of the pro-Nazi demonstrators. Ignoring idiots is often the best approach.

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