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The Washington, D.C., chapter of Black Lives Matter is planning to stage a counter-protest against the “White Civil Rights” rally scheduled to take place near the White House next month.
The organizer of last year’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., received a permit in July to host a similar rally on Aug. 12 in the nation’s capital.
The Black Lives Matter activists told a local Fox affiliate that they are disappointed the National Park Service approved a permit for the white nationalist protest.
Black Lives Matter and Shut It Down DC are calling on “all anti-fascists and people of good conscience” to join their counterprotest of the rally from Aug 10-12.
“This is for Heather Heyer, Corey Long, Deandre Harris, ICE abolition, open borders, dismantling the prison industrial complex, and ending the settler colonial system,” the group wrote in a statement. “We will confront fascism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and state violence on August 10-12.”
Jason Kessler, the white nationalist organizer, said he expects 400 people to attend in support of the rally.
Last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which was attended and organized by hundreds of white supremacists and neo-Nazis, turned violent and left one counter-protestor dead after a man with ties to white supremacist groups drove into a crowd of counter-protestors, injuring 19 and killing Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer.
Kessler withdrew his petition
to organize a second Charlottesville rally this August, but he is going ahead with the event in D.C.
The D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter told Fox 5 that they are planning to provide training sessions for counterprotesters in anticipation of safety concerns.
“We are stronger than they are, that they are resistant to change and to progress that Black Lives Matter has been doing over the last four years with black liberation and fighting racism and fascism,” Makia Green, a member of of Black Lives Matter DC, told Fox 5. “So it’s important that we let D.C. and rest of the world know that we are not going to stand for the hate.”
The “White Civil Rights” rally is scheduled to take place in Lafayette Park, near the White House.
A different Black Lives Matter chapter is also planning to hold a march from New York City to Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally. The march will start in New York on Aug. 3 and end with a rally at the D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.