Jason Kessler tells "Musonius Rufus" and Brad Griffin that Unite The Right will have a "huge number of people", be biggest rally of summer...
Jason Kessler seemed impressed with the turnout estimates in early July, when he was a guest on the Rebel Yell podcast with host "Musonius Rufus" and Brad Griffin of Occidental Dissent:
(Skip to 30:16)
Jason Kessler: “We’ve got a big event happening August 12th, which is the Unite The Right rally, and it’s going to be in front of the Robert E. Lee Monument, in Lee Park, Charlottesville, at 12pm, and we’re going to have a huge number of people there. It’s going to be the biggest, the best rally of the summer.”
Later in the podcast, Kessler admits that there are already hundreds and hundreds of expected participants with a month to go before the rally:
(Skip to 44:25)
Jason Kessler: “This is to destigmatize a lot of this activism by our people. If we start to get to the point where we’re getting hundreds and hundreds of people, and this event already has hundreds and hundreds of people, and we still have a month to go to plan and promote this thing, then there’s not much they can do with us at that point.”
This jives with what he told white nationalist radio host James Edwards later in the month. Kessler also went on to tell Edwards that:
"I absolutely intended it to be as big as possible and it is turning out to be huge. We’re on track to get exactly the kind of numbers that we wanted to."
On the Salting the Earth podcast, Season 2, Episode 2, Kessler had this to say:
(Skip to 13:07)
Jason Kessler: “So, you know, all these Patriot groups and different people who’ve been holding rallies this summer, and they’re like, “Well where are the ANTIFA?” Like, darn, it would be a shame if the ANTIFA showed up. Well, the ANTIFA aren’t threatened by those people, they’re threatened by us, and there are going to be hundreds of them here, and there’s going to be hundreds of our people here. So, it’s shaping up to be like the East Coast Berkeley.”
|Nathan Damigo of Identity Evropa (an ex-felon) seen here punching a woman at a Berkeley rally that erupted in violence.|
Kessler goes on to add in the Salting the Earth podcast:
(Skip to 55:18)
Jason Kessler: "It's going to be a fun weekend. The last time we did this, the day before I remember we went out, and we hung out, we were drinking together. It's good to have that camaraderie, that's something that people don't get when you're just on the internet. You don't get to be in fellowship with people who agree with you, and are cool, and it's something that I highly recommend everybody do, and on August 12th, it's going to be like Berkeley, and you don't want to wait until last minute and say, "Oh, I should've gone. I shoulda, coulda." I mean, this is going to be the event, and when you show up and you give numbers to our people, it shows how powerful we are and you make that contrast with these KKK who are, you know, very pathetic and they said they were going to have a hundred people, and they got like forty. It's going to be the opposite of that for us. No matter how they slander us in the media, we need to project strength by having numbers, and of course they'll write bad articles about us, but there's going to be so, so many people out there, that this is your chance. You don't have to be worried about being in public, because there will be thousands of people out here, between us and between the Liberals, you know?"
Rally turnout numbers are quickly becoming a focal point of the anticipated lawsuit over the City of Charlottesville's reasonable and content neutral permit condition of a venue change to a larger space. Brad Griffin shared this tweet earlier:
A check of the event page confirms that there are currently 700 people who have indicated that they are "going" to the event, and another 1,200 +/- "maybes". It is impossible to get a definitive number until the day of the rally. The rally's event page likely offers the best evidence of expected turnout short of Jason Kessler telling us himself what the number is through his own inside knowledge. In recent interviews and Facebook live videos, Kessler said that the city did ask him about turnout, but apparently, he played coy. Court is a different story. Kessler may be compelled to give his best and true estimate of expected turnout in a courtroom, in which he would likely be under oath.
The Traditional Worker Party is encouraging all participants to sign up at a vetting and coordination page either through them, or another "official" group. Individually, each group appears to be tracking attendance and should be able to pull together numbers if needed.
(Note: The numbers for Unite The Right may or may not include many of the Patriot, Threeper, and Militia groups who are all claiming that they have nothing to do with the rally, but who are allegedly going to be there to "protect" the white nationalists freedom of speech.)
I'd just seen the above post at the event page. This logic doesn't take into account the history of violent events that follow the Alt-Right around the country, including to Berkeley, alluded to by Mr, Kessler himself above. The numbers above probably also don't take into account that a Festival is fluid with people constantly coming and going whereas in the case of Unite The Right, you'd imagine the demonstrators will be holed up together for significant amount of time in one space (not fluid). A check online also shows that the Festival of Cultures was scheduled from 10am to 4pm, a span of 7 hours, as opposed to 12pm to 5pm for Unite The Right, a span of 5 hours. I'd also previously discussed the size of Emancipation Park, as opposed to the much larger McIntire Park in an earlier post here. At the time, I personally felt that moving the rally would be a good move for public safety, but I also expressed my skepticism that it would be moved, mostly because of Mr. Kessler's public insistence that the rally stay at Emancipation Park.
I still believe personally that the city made the right, but tough call, which in my opinion strikes a good balance between maintaining public safety, and guaranteeing Mr. Kessler and the entire Alt-Right that their First Amendment rights would not be infringed upon.
Restoring the honor!