UVa. renews ban against Unite the Right rally organizer

Apr 27, 2022, 9:20 AM | Updated: 10:06 am

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia has renewed an order banning an organizer of the Unite the Right rally from the school’s grounds, a university police spokeswoman said.

The department issued a no-trespassing order against Jason Kessler in 2018 after a clash with students at the university’s School of Law library and renewed the order last week, The Daily Progress reported.

In the original order, police cited reports that Kessler threatened students based on protected characteristics and said he intentionally misled police about his torch march held at the university the night before the rally. The new superseding notice was issued April 20 for the same reasons, the university said in a statement Tuesday. It will be in effect until further notice.

These orders can be reissued before the four-year expiration if a person is “engaged in ongoing conduct that threatens the health, safety, or property of a member of the university or its Medical Center community, a patient or visitor at the Medical Center, the educational process, or for other reasons.”

Kessler, a university graduate, appealed the order in 2018, accusing students “of being evidence of Jews following him around and harassing him” and saying he was the victim of racial harassment. But an independent consultant upheld the university’s decision that Kessler had intentionally misled police about the march, which ended in violence. The rally the next day turned deadly when a self-avowed admirer of Adolf Hitler rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring dozens.

In October 2018, the university issued trespass warnings to another 10 white supremacists based on their actions during the August 2017 torch-lit rally on campus. They are set to expire Oct. 25.

Last year, a jury ordered 17 white nationalist organizations and leaders, including Kessler, to pay $26 million in damages over violence that erupted during the deadly rally. Kessler and other defendants are attempting to have the damages reduced or be retried.

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UVa. renews ban against Unite the Right rally organizer