CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a Virginia city to allow a weekend rally of white nationalists and other extremists to take place at its originally planned location downtown.
U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad granted a preliminary injunction Friday in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville by right-wing blogger Jason Kessler.
Kessler organized the Saturday rally to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.
The city announced earlier this week that the rally must be moved out of Emancipation Park to a larger one, citing safety reasons. The rally and counter-protests are expected to draw thousands of people.
Kessler sued, saying the change was a free speech violation.
The city said in a statement that it would abide by the judge's decision.