LEESBURG, Va. - Civil rights leaders want an alt-right activist known for organizing the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year out of Loudoun County.
The demand comes after Chris Cantwell was arrested last month in Leesburg for public intoxication, a misdemeanor charge in which he was released on his own recognizance.
The Loudoun County NAACP said they believe Cantwell is planning another Charlottesville-style rally steps away from a Confederate statue outside of the Loudoun County courthouse. They are concerned that Cantwell and his supporters are spreading a message of hate across the county.
“The fact that he has pretty much been kind of ran out of Charlottesville, our question is what is he doing here?” said Loudoun County NAACP President Phillip Thompson. “Our message to him is we don't want his hate here in Loudoun County.”
Thompson added, “I have a feeling that they are looking at Leesburg for a potential rally. There was an effort to try to do a rally last summer around July and we responded very strongly along with the community, and that group decided to not hold the rally. I think it would have been probably not as large as the rally in Charlottesville, but it could have been potentially as violent.”
FOX 5 has learned an application for that proposed rally was withdrawn. The organizer, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was cancelled after the alt-right movement dominated their message of unifying both sides – pro-Confederacy and anti-Confederacy.
“We can only guess who would have showed up to support their arguments,” said Thompson.
“We have gone too far that we do not need any more racism,” said Leesburg resident Dr. Donald Cooper. “In fact, we need to work on eliminating the racism that still exist in this country.”
For now, police are downplaying Cantwell's presence in Leesburg and insist he is not being investigated in connection to KKK fliers that have popped up across Loudoun County this past year. They also said he has not submitted a permit application for any future rally.
Leesburg police said they have no reason to be concerned at this point, but they are monitoring the situation closely. They said public safety is a priority and insist residents here are safe.