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Chalked messages show Charlottesville’s shock after weekend violence



Sandy Cook, a 70-year-old former schoolteacher, bent low in front of the slate “Freedom of Speech Wall” outside Charlottesville City Hall on Monday and wrote a message: “Resist with courage, dignity and purpose.”

Her plea was one of dozens etched in chalk on the 54-foot (16.5 m) wall following this weekend’s violent clashes in the Virginia city.


“This city is not racist” and “Unity over evil,” read two other messages.

As Charlottesville reeled from the killing of a woman during a white-nationalist rally, well-wishers left flowers at a makeshift shrine nearby in the heart of downtown.

Many of the city’s 47,000 residents blamed white supremacists for bringing violence to their normally sedate city, the home of the University of Virginia’s main campus.

“Charlottesville is a very tolerant place, which is why it’s so sad to see this happen here,” said Cook, who now works as a tour guide at Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, the United States’ third president and the city’s founder.

“I am hoping that more people will come down here and will show that we are not going to let these people take over our town,” Cook said as she gazed at the wall, which bears a carving of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech for all Americans.


On Saturday, violence broke out ahead of a “Unite the Right” rally called by white supremacists to protest the planned removal of a statue of a leader of the pro-slavery Confederate army, a symbol considered an affront to African-Americans.

After the melee, as counterprotesters were dispersing, a 20-year-old man who friends say admired Adolf Hitler smashed his car into the crowd, killing a 32-year-old woman.

Mario Jones, the 42-year-old owner of a cab company, said he had been shocked by Saturday’s event, largely because he has rarely encountered racist behavior in the city, which is 70 percent white and 19 percent black.


He said protest organizer Jason Kessler misled city officials by saying the rally was focused on the statue of General Robert E. Lee in a state that has long had mixed feelings about its slaveholding past.

“He started with a focus on the statue and a focus on preserving history, and then when he had the platform, he flipped it to white supremacy,” said Jones, who is black, as he stood outside the courthouse where the driver in Saturday’s incident was ordered held without bail.


Russ Naranjo, 45, stopped to write “Kessler did this!!” on the wall, replacing each “s” in the name with the emblem of the Nazi SS secret police.

“He is a Nazi and he brought this here and then he got in over his head and ran away,” said Naranjo, who works in security.

Kessler was punched on Sunday when he attempted to hold a press conference and was ushered away by police.


On Monday he blamed the police for the violence, saying they allowed the event to get out of control. A spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, Corinne Geller, denied that claim.

Naranjo said the hundreds of so-called “alt-right” white supremacists who attended Saturday’s rally had been emboldened by Republican U.S. President Donald Trump.

“The alt-right has sprung up because of Donald Trump and he needs to do more to denounce them,” Naranjo said.

After being criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike for failing to respond forcefully to Saturday’s violence, Trump on Monday denounced white supremacists.


While many residents and city leaders blamed the violence on white supremacists, some said both sides were at fault.

“Both sides came to fight,” said Mason Pickett, 64, the retired owner of a moving and storage company. “I think if the people on the left would have stood there calmly, the people on the right would not have kicked ass.”

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Frank McGurty and Andrew Hay)

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Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible



Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.

Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.

The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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WATCH: Prince Harry explains why he and Meghan are leaving the royal family — but promises ‘a life of service’



Prince Harry posted a video from an HIV/AIDS fundraiser his mother once supported, where he explained his methodology for leaving his profile role as a royal.

"I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear," said Harry.

He went on to say that he doesn't intend to walk away and he certainly won't walk away from his causes and interests. "We intend to live a life of service."

In the speech, he thanked those who took him under their wing in the absence of his mother

"I hope you can understand that it's what it had come to," he said for why their family intends to step back.

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‘You cannot expect anything but fascism’: Pedagogy theorist on how Trump ‘legitimated a culture of lying, cruelty and a collapse of social responsibility’



The impeachment of Donald Trump appears to be a crisis without a history, at least a history that illuminates, not just comparisons with other presidential impeachments, but a history that provides historical lessons regarding its relationship to a previous age of tyranny that ushered in horrors associated with a fascist politics in the 1930s.  In the age of Trump, history is now used to divert and elude the most serious questions to be raised about the impeachment crisis. The legacy of earlier presidential impeachments, which include Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, provide a comparative historical context for analysis and criticism. And while Trump’s impeachment is often defined as a more serious constitutional crisis given his attempt to use the power of the presidency to advance his personal political agenda, it is a crisis that willfully ignores the conditions that gave rise to Trump’s presidency along with its recurring pattern of authoritarian behavior, policies, and practices.  One result is that the impeachment process with its abundance of political theater and insipid media coverage treats Trump’s crimes as the endpoint of an abuse of power and an illegal act, rather than as a political action that is symptomatic of a long legacy of conditions that have led to the United States’ slide into the abyss of authoritarianism.

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