“Unite the Right 2” rally: 6 things to know about the D.C. demonstrations

By Melissa Locker

August 11, 2018

After last year’s deadly Unite the Right rally, in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a Whitman’s Sampler of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, paramilitary, and the alt-right got together to spew hate, the white nationalists are doing it all over again this weekend.

Exactly one year after the original rally, “Unite the Right 2”–titled like a bad Hollywood sequel–will be held in a park near the White House. About 400 people are expected to attend the so-called “First Amendment” event.

Here’s what you need to know about the rally:

    Organizer: The event was organized by Jason Kessler, who already had last year’s rally on his resume. Kessler initially wanted to return to Charlottesville, but the city denied his request, so he headed to the nation’s capital.

    Event: The rally will start in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., and run from August 11 to 12. According to the rally’s website, the main demonstration is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Lafayette Square on the 12th.

    Attendees: According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the rally’s confirmed speakers include neo-Nazi Patrick Little, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, South African survivalist Simon Roche, a guy from Patriot Prayer, the editor of the Revolutionary Conservative, Kessler’s reported attorney Corey Mahler, and “pro-white” town manager Tom Kawczynski.

    Counter-protests: There are several counter-demonstrations planned. The National Park Service (NPS) has granted official permits to multiple counter-protests in Washington D.C.—reportedly before the Nazis got their permits.

    More counter-protests: The Daily Beast reports that 18 anti-racist, anti-fascist, and feminist groups have organized a “DC United Against Hate” coalition, which will be counter-protesting throughout the weekend. According to ABC News, at least one group “plans to burn a Confederate flag in Lafayette Park.”

    Shut it down: According to DCist, 22 different organizations, including Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, Black Lives Matter D.C., Maryland Antifa, the D.C. Antifascist Collective, and the Frederick Socialists have teamed up for an event called Shut It Down D.C., which will go on for the entire weekend.