3 DEAD, 35 INJURED AS WHITE SUPREMACIST RALLY TURNS VIOLENT

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By Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2017 (Charlottesville, VA)—Unite the Right, the largest white supremacist gathering in decades, was declared an unlawful assembly by the city of Charlottesville, Virginia,  where three people are dead and at least 35 injured. Governor Terry McAuliff declared a state of emergency and politicians across the country have spoken out to denounce the hate groups participating and a Nazi sympathizer who rammed his vehicle into a crowd has been charged with murder.

Former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) mperial Wizard David Duke had earlier credited Donald Trump with inspiring the rally.

In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Duke elaborated, “This represents a turning point…We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.  That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

The gathering had been projected to draw thousands of Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis and other alt right hate group members. In a rally the night before the main event, many carried lit torches, shields, guns, and other weapons.  The groups came ostensibly to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a park in this university town, but participants made Nazi salutes in mass, chanted “blood and soil” and lobbed racial slurs at protesters including some with Black Lives Matter signs. 

After police cleared the protest area, a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacists, killing a 20-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 people, including one with a skull fracture.

The driver, 20-year-old Alex Fields Jr.,  was seen accelerating to build up speed for several blocks before striking the crowd. He has been arrested and charged with second degree murder. His teacher says Fields was a Nazi sympathizer, the Washington Post reports. The FBI has announced it has opened a civil rights investigation into the attack, also seeking to determine if the driver acted alone or if others may have been involved.

Two state troopers monitoring the protest also died when their helicopter crashed.

The local organizer of the Unite the Right Rally, Jason Kessler, tried to hold a news conference the day after the killings but was drowned out by protesters shouting “murderer” and blaring horns. He ran away and was tackled; police intervened to whisk him away.  Later he tweeted that “violence rules over speech and ideas in #Charlottesville.”

Charlottesville’s Mayor Michael Signer said on CNN that the victims “didn’t need to die.” He faulted Trump for courting white supremacists in his campaign and repeatedly refusing to condemn such groups, adding, “Two things need to be said over and over again—domestic terrorism and white supremacy.”

President Donald Trump, speaking to media at Trump National Golf Club while on vacation in New Jersey, said of the Charlottesville tragedy, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. On many sides.”

Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacists specifically and his misleading inference that the violence in Charlottesville had arisen from anyone other than the racist hate groups there has drawn stinging criticism from leaders in both political parties.

The President’s silence on white supremacist violence continues a pattern of ignoring attacks by racists and white wing groups, such as a bombing of a mosque in Minnesota. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, urged the President to say, “White supremacy is an affront to American values.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, tweeted, “White supremacy is a scourge. This hate and its terrorism must be confronted and defeated.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who was traveling in Colombia, stated, “We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo Nazis or the KKK. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate,” he said, but added, “The president also made clear that behavior by others of different militant perspectives are also unacceptable in our political debate and discourse.”

Pence promised that the administration would bring the Justice Department’s full resources to “investigate and prosecute those responsible for the violence.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News that the white supremacists “seem to believe they have a friend in Donald Trump in the White House, “ adding, “I would urge the President to dissuade them of the [idea] that he is sympathetic to their cause.”

The King Center, founded by Corretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, tweeted, “Racism never left America.”

San Diego Democratic Congressman Scott Peters tweeted, “These expressions of racism and hatred are neither American nor Christian, and all the patriotic and devout should say so.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said of the Charlottesville attacks, “Violent acts of hate and bigotry have no place in America.

California Senator  Kamala Harris stated, “This hate is against everything America stands for. We must all stand united against it.”

The incident has also drawn international condemnation. British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with #Charlottesville. The UK stands with the US against racism, hatred and violence.”

Israel’s Education minster Naftali Bennett called on the White house to condemn Nazi symbols used at the rally.  "It is on the leaders of the U.S. to condemn and denounce manifestations of anti-Semitism that we have seen in recent days,” the Israeli minister said.

A planned prayer vigil for murdered Heather Heyer was cancelled due to a threat of violence, but some turned out to march in her memory despite the threat.  USA Today reports that Victoria Jackson, a coworker and friend, remembered Heyer for standing up for what she believed in, adding, “She was a beautiful soul.”

The  vicious attacks, far from intimidating people, are having exactly the opposite effect.

In Charlottesville, racists in the Unite the Right rally were drowned out by religious leaders and others who formed a line singing,”This little light of mine,” drowning out curses and slurs, NBC reported.

Following the murder and serious injures to peaceful protesters, some took to the streets in Charlottesville carrying flowers in memory of Heyer.

In cities across the nation, those horrified by the  racial violence in Charlottesville  swiftly organized peaceful marches and protests, taking a stand against hatred—drawing far larger crowds collectively than Unite the Right.

 

 

Comments

Appreciate your honesty

At least our anonymous Troll Poster's on here have the great courage and incredible thunder to infer they support Nazi's, the KKK, and White Supremacist's. Well done Lionhearts!

BTW, this just out

Vietnam Veterans of America said: If any of our members stand with the white supremacists, turn in your membership cards. “We did not don the uniform and serve our country to enable the acceptance of intolerance.”

WOW!

Legal open carry at a riot and no shots were fired. Go figure Sheriff Gore.

Reminder of site rules.

Hi all - I know emotions run high on this topic.  Can everyone please avoid personal attacks on each other and focus on the big picture issues here?

To clarify,  in the U.S. the Constitution protects everyone's right to free speech, even offensive free speech.  That right ends, however, if people threaten others, cause harm, or incite violence.

Some members of the Unite the Right came prepared to cause harm. NPR reported today that some brought bottles filled with urine and chemicals that they hurled at peaceful counterprotesters. That's called assault and it is a crime. Police were correct to break that up and declare this an unlawful assembly, from what I have heard.  This was not a peaceful parade or march.

Desertrek, I don't understand you equating quoting David Duke's exact words to a "dog whistle" for the left.  That odious racist has long been a dog whistle for the most vile racists in the KKK who hate people based on their skin color and religion. Why are you not equally or more concerned about the hate speech and actions by the extremist racial groups at this event that have preached extermination or taking away the rights of blacks, Jews and others?  Should that not offend every decent human being?

It is possible a few counter protesters may have crossed lines too, and if so they should be held acocuntable, but the overwhelming blame for what went wrong in Charlottesville lies with the hateful racists who showed up carrying torches and guns -- obviously meaning to frighten and initmidate people, given the context of their messages which includes carrying SWASTIKAS tht the Nazis who extermined 7 million people or more used as their symbols. I have zero respect for anyone who won't denounce that. 

Nobody is superior to anybody else based on the color of their skin.  Anybody who preaches that message can certainly expect many counterprotesters, hopefully peaceful ones, because silence is complicity.

 

 

 

White Supremacist's

Why can't these groups waving the Confederate Flag and Idolizing Hitler accept they lost the Civil War and their quest to exterminate an entire People and get over it? Sound familiar Desertrek?

Why dont Internet Trolls like Deserttrek come from behind their cowardly pseudonames when they criticize others? How is it different than hiding under a hood? If they really stood for something they'd put their real name on it. They're playing pretend at being brave men, like little boys still playing army. Takes no courage to criticize others who are in plain sight when you hide and just Troll people Desertrek. Be brave, be regarded as more than just an impish Internet Troll. Show us some of your real courage and character. I know you got it in you.

pathetic attacks

to bad you can't accept the freedom of speech. the wanna be dictator and decider of what is and what is not acceptable. the cowards are those who cannot accept free speech and refuse to ask and then answer the hard questions. cowards like gene the attack machine cannot accept dissent. cowards cannot see their own hate and bigotry
only the truly stupid do not know history. do not know of Black, Hispanic and Jewish soldiers in the Confederacy. you and the other bigots lump and then smear, you are a coward and a hate monger.
reminds me of the friends of adolph, the friends of mao, the friends of pol pot, they all knew the proper speech and proper way to think. they smeared and incited violence.
no gene you are the coward and all like you are scared of the fundamentals freedoms

who bused in the counter

who bused in the counter protestors and paid for the signs?
who told the police and guard to stand down?
why were people with weapons allowed?
why did the police standby and watch?
why doesn't the left in the USA want those they disagree with to be able to protest and express free speech?
why are the governor and mayor using the power of government to shut down free speech?

this was started by the leftists and egged on by a hysterical and corrupt media and a political class that cannot accept they lost
keep pushing lies concerning Trump and those who disagree with you. when more killing and violence takes place the MEDIA and those who endorse violence now will act so surprised , when they are the cause

the david duke dog whistle is classic left wing hysteria

On second thought

If that mish mosh of a tirade you just gave was a response to my criticism of Internet Troll's, perhaps you SHOULD hide behind the veil of anonymity Desertrek, how embarrassingly sad that was. I understand now.