Addressing concerns that a Charlottesville-type conflict could happen in Leesburg amid the prospect of competing rallies next month, Mayor Kelly Burk released a statement saying no permits had been issued.
“Prior to the horrific events in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12, 2017, a group known as United Patriots planned to hold a ‘Rally to Defend Our History’ in front of the Loudoun County Courthouse on Saturday, September 16, 2017. In the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, that group has cancelled their event. Permits to use the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds are issued by Loudoun County. At the present time, United Patriots has not submitted an application to use the courthouse grounds on any other date,” Burk stated.
Her statement also noted that plans by the Loudoun County NAACP to hold an event also on Sept. 16 do not appear to be moving forward. The group had planned to gather on the Town Green in front of Town Hall and proceed to the courthouse grounds. No application has been made by the group to use the Town Green or any other town-owned public property, including public streets, Burk said.
Moving forward, town leaders will do their best to steer clear of bringing events like those occurring in Charlottesville on Saturday to the county seat, she said.
“The Town will not issue permits for the use of public property to groups that intend to incite violence or disrupt the peace,” Burk stated. “I would like to assure the public that the Leesburg Police Department is working closely with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police to be prepared to maintain safety and protect the public in the event that an unscheduled rally takes place. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and advise the public as necessary.”