Unite the Right

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Unite the Right was an Alt right / White nationalist rally that took place at Emancipation Park (formerly Lee Park) in Charlottesville, VA. The event is meant to protest the removal of a Statue of Robert E. Lee. [11]

Discord Server

Prior to the Rally, Jason Kessler ran a Discord server called Charlottesville 2.0. to organize the event. On the server, participants talked about running over protesters. One user, AltCelt posted a picture of a van making its way through a large crowd of people with the caption "This will be us." [31] In another instance, a user named Tyrone mentioned how NC law states that it isn't an offense and that it would be nice if the law was also in Virginia. The comment was followed with a meme "Introducing John Deer's new multi-lane protester digestor. [30] [32]

Rally Information and Reaction

Unite the Right was organized by Jason Kessler. Speakers at the event include Richard B. Spencer, Mike Enoch, Jason Kessler, Baked Alaska, Augustus Invictus, Christopher Cantwell, Matt Hembach, Johnny Monoxide, Pax Dickinson, Based Stick Man, and Dr. Mike Hill. [3] On the event's Facebook description it said "This is an event which seeks to unify the right-wing against a totalitarian Communist crackdown, to speak out against displacement level immigration policies in the United States and Europe and to affirm the right of Southerners and white people to organize for their interests just like any other group is able to do, free of persecution." [1]

In response to the rally, Governor Terry McAuliffe said, "I want to urge my fellow Virginians who may consider joining either in support or opposition to the planned rally to make alternative plans. Many of the individuals coming to Charlottesville tomorrow are doing so in order to express viewpoints many people, including me, find abhorrent. As long as that expression is peaceful, that is their right." The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the rally "the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States.” [12] In the days before the protest, Airbnb terminated the accounts of suspected attendees of Unite the Right. [12]

Friday Night Demonstration

On August 12th, a pre-night rally took place where attendees marched through the University of Virginia carrying tiki torches lit on fire. In a video filmed by Augustus Invictus, he is seen marching with attendees commenting on their high energy and high testosterone while they were chanting "Fuck off commies this is our town now," "You will not replace us," "One people, one nation, end immigration," Jews will not divide us," and "Blood and Soil." [13] Their walk ended at a statue of Thomas Jefferson where Richard B. Spencer briefly spoke. [13] After marchers clashed with counter-protesters (mainly anitfa), police ruled the nightly demonstration an unlawful assembly, and broke it up. [15]

Day of Event and State of Emergency

Protesters getting run over by cars

Although the rally was supposed to start at noon, thousands of demonstrators and counter-protesters began congregating in the Emancipation Park Area mid-morning and were clashing with each other. At 11:52 am, Governor Terry McAuliffe has called a State of Emergency and the event has been canceled. [17] [21] At one point, a car plunged through a crowd of protesters causing severe injuries, including the death of Heather Heyer. [22] The driver of the vehicle, James Alex Fields Jr. has been arrested. [27]

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