Members of the National Socialist Movement will not return to Charlottesville the same way they did last summer if the neo-Nazi group participates in the planned Unite the Right anniversary rally in August.
A new consent decree motion signed by an attorney for the National Socialist Movement says the group’s members and its director, Jeff Schoep, are enjoined from returning to Charlottesville as an armed group. The signed document was submitted to the court on Friday.
The motion is part of ongoing litigation that seeks to prevent paramilitary activity at protests and demonstrations.
Represented by attorneys from the Georgetown University Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, the city government and several neighborhood associations and businesses throughout the city are suing various white supremacist and independent militia groups from participating in nonsanctioned paramilitary activity state law allegedly prohibits.
An attorney representing the National Socialist Movement confirmed Friday that the organization has agreed to the consent order. He said it is unlikely the group will return to Charlottesville for a rally that “pro-white” activist Jason Kessler is planning again for Aug. 12.
Last week, leaders with the League of the South, another white supremacist organization that took part in last year’s rally, agreed to a nearly identical consent decree that bars them from engaging in paramilitary-like activity in Charlottesville.
The white supremacist rally last summer resulted in the death of a counter protester, Heather Heyer, and two Virginia State Police pilots, Lt. H. Jay Cullen III and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.
Heyer was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters. Bates and Cullen died after the helicopter they used to monitor the rally crashed in Albemarle County later that afternoon.
In December, the city denied Kessler a permit for an anniversary rally. Kessler last month filed a federal lawsuit to make the city let him to hold the event.