White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville Shut Down Due to Violence

AltRightMarchBaileyCharlottesville, Va. - The white nationalist Unite the Right rally in my home town was dispersed after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the wake of violent clashes between the neo-nazis, white supremacists, and other assorted alt-righters and Black Lives Matter, anti-fascist, and other counter-protesters. The white nationalists were attracted to Charlottesville as protest site after the city council's vote to sell memorial statues of confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Earlier this week, the city government revoked the permit for the rally to take place in the newly renamed Emancipation Park where the Lee statue stands. The city issued another permit for the rally at the larger McIntire park which is about one mile away from downtown. The rally organizers backed by the American Civil Liberties Union sued and the federal court district ruled that the rally could take place in the downtown park.

Last night, the alt-righters marched with tiki torches through the grounds of the University of Virginia reportedly shouting ""You will not replace us!," "Blood and soil!," and "Jews will not replace us!" Shouting the last slogan while standing in front of the statue of Thomas Jefferson created by Virginia Jewish scupltor and confederate VMI combatant Moses Ezekiel is a bit ironic.

PoliceBaileySome of the alt-righters came attired in militia regalia carrying clubs and shields. The clubs were used to bash some counter-protesters before the rally could even get started, prompting the governor's declaration that the rally had become an unlawful assembly. I was not close enough to see that fight, but I did watch as perhaps a 500 Unite the Righters carrying confederate and nazi banners dispersed from the closed park by marching down Market Street. Counter-protesters shouting for them go away let them past for the most part unmolested. White nationalist Richard Spencer with a phalanx of Proud Boys brought up the rear, clearly reveling in the chaos the rally had caused.

After the alt-righters marched away, many apparently put down their banners and are now mingling with residents and counter-protesters around downtown. Naturally, there are rumors that the alt-righters are planning to regroup for further protests and mayhem.

Now the bad news: Apparently two people are being treated for injuries from the earlier fight and a car has hit and injured some folks on the downtown mall (where I was standing not an hour ago). I am going to head back out to see what else may be happening.

For more background, here is what I think about how confederate monuments and memorials should be handled: Old Times There Are Best Forgotten.