'Charlottesville 3.0': White Nationalists Rally Again
Another series of protests by white nationalists took place in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.
“Charlottesville 3.0 was a great success,” said Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and well-known figure of the “alt-right,” in a video posted to Twitter. “It was a lot of fun.”
The rally took place on Saturday echoed the one that occurred in August in that it took place under the light of tiki torches. But this past weekend’s activities appeared to be much smaller in scale, only including about 40 people, according to a city report.
“We came, we triggered, we left,” Spencer said of the evening, adding, “It was a great success and we’re gonna do it again.”
The protest took place in Emancipation Park, the site of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The statue has been covered by a black tarp following the Unite The Right rally that took place in August, which left one 32-year-old counter protester dead after a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of people.
Protesters chanted “You will not replace us” and “We will be back,” according to videos Spencer posted on Twitter.
City leaders condemned the protest. Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the incident “despicable” on Twitter.
Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards. You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.
— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) October 8, 2017
The city is now reportedly exploring its options to prevent similar rallies from taking place in the future, including the creation of a task force.
“The task force will continue to develop proactive strategies regarding the law, policing, regulations, communications, intelligence-gathering, and community outreach to vulnerable populations regarding white nationalist events in Charlottesville,” according to a city statement.
The city has also called for an independent review of the three rallies that have taken place in the city and also plans to bolster the police department’s intelligence gathering capabilities.
“Charlottesville is one of the world’s great cities. Our progressive and welcoming policies and our belief in telling the truth about race in our history are all key to our success,” Signer, the city’s mayor, said in a statement. “The so-called ‘alt-right’ believes intimidation and intolerance will stop us from our work. They could not be more wrong. We must marshal all our resources, legal and otherwise, to protect our public and support our values of inclusion and diversity in the future.”
Spencer also said in a video on Twitter that the protesters “came in peace” every time they rallied in the city — including in August, at which time the Unite The Right rally left Heather Heyer dead.
Heyer went to the rally in August to protest against the white supremacists and was struck by a vehicle driven by one of the protesters.
“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what You just magnified her,” Heyer’s mother Susan Bro said at a memorial service for her daughter.
“She paid attention. And she made a lot of us pay attention,” Bro said. “I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die. This is just the beginning of Heather’s legacy.”
After the deadly Charlottesville protests, Trump refused to speak out against white supremacists. He described “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” in response to the violent rally and noted that there were some “very fine people” on the neo-Nazi side.
Following Trump’s rhetoric, Congress officially called on Trump to take an unequivocal stance against neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and hate groups.