Charlottesville, VA – After nearly three days of deliberation, a federal jury returned their verdict in the civil rights lawsuit filed against organizers of the the deadly August 12, 2017 Unite The Right rally. The plaintiffs in the ‘Sines v. Kessler’ case – 10 people injured and/or traumatized by the car attack and other racist violence the weekend of August 11-12, 2017 – were represented by attorneys with civil rights nonprofit Integrity First For America. The jury found all the neo-nazi leaders and groups sued in the case were liable for violations of Virginia laws regarding civil conspiracy, racial and ethnic intimidation, hate crimes, and assault and battery. Total damages awarded in the verdict add up to over $26 million.
Charlottesville, VA – After four long years of litigation the lawsuit trial against leading white supremacist organizers and groups kicked off on October 25, 2021 at the federal courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia. Attorneys for victims of the ‘Unite the Right’ racist attacks are seeking justice in a civil lawsuit. Called ‘Sines v. Kessler’ for short, the trial expected to last a full month, just a few blocks from where convicted defendant James Alex Fields killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens more, including several plaintiffs in the case. The lawsuit seeks to prove that the white supremacists were motivated by ‘racial animus’, and organized premeditated violence, which is unlawful and actionable under the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act.
A new report released July 1, 2019, concludes that a major monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, can be legally removed. The monument, which depicts George Rogers Clark threatening Native American men and a woman holding an infant, is not covered by a Virginia state law that forbids removing war monuments, due to the date of the monument’s erection and its ownership by the University of Virginia rather than the County of Albemarle. George Rogers Clark said that he would have liked to “see the whole race of Indians extirpated” and that he would...
James Alex Fields Jr Found Guilty Of Murdering Heather Heyer At Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally
A man who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been convicted of first-degree murder. James Alex Fields Jr was found guilty on Friday of killing Heather Heyer, 32, at a ‘Unite the Right’ rally last year. At least 19 other people were injured. Prosecutors said Fields drove his car directly into the crowd of counter-protesters because he was angry after witnessing earlier violent clashes between the two sides. Jurors also convicted Fields of eight other charges including aggravated malicious wounding and hit-and-run. The jury rejected arguments made by lawyers for Fields that he acted in self-defence.
May 14, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - As FAIR has noted before (e.g., Extra!, 1/17; FAIR.org, 4/2/18), the term “clash” is almost always used to launder power asymmetry and give the reader the impression of two equal warring sides. It obscures power dynamics and the nature of the conflict itself, e.g., who instigated it and what weapons if any were used. “Clash” is a reporter’s best friend when they want to describe violence without offending anyone in power—in the words of George Orwell, “to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.” It’s predictable, then, that in coverage of Israel’s recent mass shootings in Gaza—which have killed over 30 Palestinians and injured more than 1,100—the word “clashes” is used to euphemize snipers in fortified positions firing on unarmed protesters 100 meters away...
Charlottesville organisers pledge support of African Americans on trial for 'self-defence' at white nationalist rally. The trial of Corey Long, an African American man who was allegedly shot at by a white nationalist during last August's "Unite the Right" Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has been granted a continuance. Community organisers gathered outside the courtroom on Tuesday morning wearing all black in support of Long, whose lawyers asked for the continuance. Organisers told Al Jazeera they believe the trial will take place in June. Long has been charged with misdemeanour assault and disorderly conduct related to his use of a "flamethrower" at the rally. Long's lawyers asked for the delay after being offered a plea deal, which they did not accept, activists said. Organisers feel Long was unjustly charged after white nationalists present during the August 12 rally told law enforcement they were assaulted.
Authorities are arresting and charging anti-racist demonstrators for events connected to the Unite the Right rally, even though it was white supremacists who unleashed violence on the town. Last summer, white nationalists infamously descended on Charlottesville, Va., holding an armed march and rally where neo-nazi James Fields Jr. allegedly killed anti-racist demonstrator Heather Heyer with a vehicle. Months later, black counter-protesters continue to be arrested on charges connected to the rally, even though it was the racists who unleashed violence on the town. At least one anti-racist protester was arrested after the local police department and FBI questioned him under the pretext of an ongoing investigation into right-wing violence, according to legal advocates. On Jan. 19, the Charlottesville police arrested Donald Blakney, a 51-year-old black man, and charged him with malicious wounding.
Alfred Thomas, chief of police for Charlottesville, has resigned just 17 days after a scathing report detailing the failures of the police department during the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in August that left one dead and several injured. According to the report, the police failed to respond when violence broke out at the white supremacist rally in August of this year. Instead of intervening, the police remained behind barricades. The report concluded that the city’s plan to control the streets was “much like it is on Saturday afternoon for a football game” despite several warnings of serious threats leading up to the events. The report was conducted by Timothy J. Heaphy, former United States attorney hired by the city. It was released on December first.
By Chris Kenning for Reuters - (Reuters) - Charlottesville authorities failed to protect public safety and free speech during a white nationalist rally over Confederate statues that turned deadly in the Virginia college town in August, an independent review said on Friday. The violence between counter-protesters and white nationalists, who were outraged by the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, marked an eruption in tensions over the symbols of the Civil War’s losing side. A 32-year-old woman was killed when a car plowed into a group of counter-demonstrators. Friday’s three-month review by former U.S. attorney Timothy Heaphy faulted law enforcement agencies for breakdowns in planning and coordination as well as a timid response that led to “disastrous results.” “The city was unable to protect the right of free expression and facilitate the permit holder’s offensive speech,” said the report commissioned by Charlottesville officials to address criticism of the response to the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally. “This represents a failure of one of the government’s core functions — the protection of fundamental rights.” Charlottesville police declined to comment. The Virginia State Police said in a statement that they spent weeks planning but it was difficult to account for every circumstance.
By Solidarity Cville for Medium - Corey Long turned himself in this past Friday after the white supremacists who attacked Charlottesville swore out a warrant against Corey for disorderly conduct and assault and battery. Corey is beloved in his community, known for taking care of others. Now he is known nationwide for a photograph of him with an ignited spray can shielding an elderly man from a group of white nationalists swinging flags at them. This photo emerged as one of the most powerful images of community defense and guardianship against the intimidation, extreme force and brutality that neo-Nazis perpetrated as promised against Charlottesville residents. Shortly after that photo was taken, a Nazi fired a gun at Corey. Corey Long, a 23-year-old elder care worker, was arrested for answering the call to defend his community against the imminent siege of terror that both Mayor Mike Signer and UVA President Teresa Sullivan told the residents of Charlottesville to outright ignore.
By Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker for Reuters and by Brett Eadkins for Integrity First for America. Two people who say they were injured in a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia sued the man charged with killing a woman by driving his car through the crowd as well as the event’s organizers on Tuesday for $3 million. Tadrint Washington and Micah Washington said in papers filed in Charlottesville circuit court that they had been among the people hurt when James Alex Fields drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one. Another lawsuit filed in federal court in Charlottesville states that neo-Nazis and white supremacists terrorized and harmed residents of Charlottesville, Virginia during the violent marches of August 11-12, 2017, violating the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and various other statutes.
By Greg Palast and Zach Roberts for Truth Out - African-American school teacher DeAndre Harris, victim of a beating by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, has been charged with assaulting the white supremacists who beat him with boards, iron rods, and brass knuckles. That is correct. Harris, who was shown being beaten close to death in photos released by Truthout and carried worldwide, has now been charged with the same crime as his attackers: "unlawful wounding." Several of Harris' attackers remain on the run -- and local and federal officials show little interest in going after them. Yet, the Charlottesville Police Department issued a warrant to arrest Harris on October 9. Harris is accused of taking a swing at a neo-Nazi who tried to stab a friend of Harris with the staff of a flag pole holding a Confederate flag. On the advice of his lawyer, Harris was unable to be reached for comment. Zach Roberts, for Truthout, spoke with Lee Merritt, Harris's attorney and a legal specialist on police brutality and corruption. Merritt stated, "This is probably the most extreme case I've seen.
By Adam Johnson for FAIR - Since the Charlottesville attack a month ago, a review of commentary in the six top broadsheet newspapers—the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post—found virtually equal amounts of condemnation of fascists and anti-fascist protesters. Between August 12 and September 12, these papers ran 28 op-eds or editorials condemning the anti-fascist movement known as antifa, or calling on politicians to do so, and 27 condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists, or calling on politicians—namely Donald Trump—to do so. For the purposes of this survey, commentary that drew a comparison between antifa and neo-Nazis, but devoted the bulk of its argument to condemning antifa, was categorized as anti-antifa. There were no op-eds or editorials framed as condemnations of “both sides” that spent as much or more time condemning or criticizing neo-Nazis. The “both sides” frame—which was employed by Donald Trump in the wake of the attack, and endorsed by white supremacist David Duke—was almost always used a vehicle to highlight and denounce antifa, with a “to be sure” line about neo-Nazis thrown in for good measure. A breakdown of the op-eds and editorials can be found here.
By Anne Meador for DC Media Group - Washington, DC — A ten-day, 118-mile march to confront white supremacy ended in Washington on Wednesday afternoon as several hundred people made their way across Key Bridge to the White House. The marchers passed by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s statue under a steady rain where several spoke in tribute to the civil rights leader. They then marched past the White House and set up camp nearby at Farragut Square where they are holding a presence through September. They plan anti-supremacy actions during the next four weeks throughout the District. The marchers began their peace walk in Charlottesville last week in response to a white supremacist rally held there on August 11. It was at the end of their rally that one of the white supremacists drove his car through a crowd of protesters in an act of terror as they were getting underway to march, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. He then backed up, running over more protesters. The attack was caught on video. Organizer Nicole Charty said that the march was sending a message to the Trump administration that they will not permit white supremacy to flourish in this country. “We are not going to tolerate a president who refuses to speak out against white supremacy,” she said.
By Paul Street for Counter Punch - The United States, where median Black household wealth is less than 7 cents on the white household dollar and where the mild slogan “Black lives matter” is considered controversial, is still very much a racist nation. Grasping the nature of this national racism in 21stcentury means looking at the different levels on which race operates here. One level is at the nation’s discursive and symbolic surface. It is about language, imagery, signs, the color of elite personnel, representation, and, well, symbols. A different and deeper level is institutional and structural. It’s about how labor markets, the financial sector, the real estate industry, the educational system, the criminal justice complex, the military state, the corporate system, the dominant media, and capitalism more broadly all work to deepen, maintain, and/or reduce racial oppression and inequality. At the surface and symbolic level, racism has experienced significant defeats in the United States since the rise of the Civil Rights Movement in the middle and late 1950s. Open public bigotry has been largely defeated in the nation’s corporate-crafted public culture.