A federal judge is debating whether to grant an injunction that will allow the Unite The Right rally to be held in Emancipation Park in the shadow of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The rally and counter-protests are expected to draw thousands of people.
The Daily Progress in Charlottesville reported that the white supremacists began marching at the college's Nameless Field and ended at the rotunda, where police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.
Barricades are going up, police will patrol the area on the ground and in the air, and the National Guard will be on standby Saturday.
But ACLU attorney Victor M. Glasberg said the Emancipation Park location is central to Kessler's rally because of the Lee statue and the controversy that has surrounded the city's decision to remove and rename the park. However, in advance of tomorrow's rally there have been communications from extremist groups, many of which are located outside of Virginia, who may seek to commit acts of violence against rally participants or law enforcement officials.
"I want to urge my fellow Virginians who may consider joining either in support or opposition to the planned rally to make alternative plans", said McAuliffe.
Units of the Virginia National Guard will be placed on stand-by, he added.
The Rutherford Institute and ACLU said the move violates Kessler's First Amendment rights.
On Saturday, August 12, a "Unite The Right" white supremacist rally is scheduled to take place in Charlottesville, Virginia, and will include the likes of alt-right leader Richard Spencer. Numerous individuals coming to Charlottesville tomorrow are doing so in order to express viewpoints many people, including me, find abhorrent.
McAuliffe asked both supporters and opponents of the rally to stay away. But it is also the right of every American to deny those ideas more attention than they deserve.