Consider the below background information that sets the context for the Charlottesville events of August 12th, 2017.
1. Click here for a judge ruling for the Unite the Right organizers that shows the beginnings of how city officials failed to properly handle the rally.
2. Click here for a joint statement by Charlottesville Mayor, City Manager and Police Chief.
3. Click here for the Charlottesville Police Chief account of the situation.
From the above we see that the Unite the Right organization had requested to use Emancipation Park. The city tried to have them move to McIntire Park. The City’s rationale was that McIntire Park was a larger park and would be more appropriate given the number of expected attendees. Well, the city could have simply restricted and controlled the number of people who entered the park, protesters and counter-protesters if counterprotesters were allowed.
Jason Kessler reportedly initially organized the Saturday rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. He reported later enlarged the scope of the rally, however, perhaps in response to the city’s action although that would merely be reasonable speculation on my part.
The city tried to improperly impede the rally by telling them to move to McIntire Park. At the very least, the city should have told the counterprotesters to go to McIntire Park and stay out of Emancipation Park. The distance between the two parks is about 1.7 miles according to Google Maps. Given the closeness of the two parks the counterprotesters should have rallied on another day.