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White nationalists at Charlottesville are being sued over protest violence

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Eleven people have sued white nationalists whose rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly this summer, saying they suffered emotional and physical trauma from protesters’ threats and violence.

The federal lawsuit filed in Charlottesville late on Wednesday seeks damages from 25 white nationalist individuals and groups alleged to be involved in the Aug. 12 protest, including activist Richard Spencer. It also requests a court order banning them from staging similar rallies.

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Those named in the suit went to Charlottesville “to terrorize its residents, commit acts of violence, and use the town as a backdrop to showcase for the media and the nation a neo-nationalist agenda,” the suit said.

Spencer is president of the National Policy Institute. The executive director of that group, Evan McLaren, called the lawsuit “entirely frivolous.”

In an emailed statement, McLaren said, “The political forces opposed to us lack a serious, coherent response to our message and presence, and thus seek to outlaw our ability to speak.”

Two other defendants, rally organizer Jason Kessler and Michael Hill, co-founder of the League of the South, declined to comment.

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Among those filing the suit, one had a stroke, two were injured and others suffered psychological and emotional distress when the protest descended into a brawl, the complaint said.

A counterprotester was killed when she was run over by a car driven into a crowd and 19 people were injured. An Ohio man, James Fields Jr., has been charged in the incident and is named in the lawsuit.

The rally in Charlottesville, home to the flagship campus of the University of Virginia, followed months of protests over the city’s proposed removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

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Unrest has continued to roil Charlottesville, with Spencer leading a torch-carrying rally at Lee’s statue on Saturday. Charlottesville schools were put under partial lockdown on Wednesday after an online threat that police said showed “discontent with recent events” there.

Lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who represented a New York woman in the landmark 2013 Supreme Court case that granted same-sex married couples federal recognition, and Karen Dunn, a former associate White House counsel, are heading the suit.

“The whole point of this lawsuit is to make it clear that this kind of conduct — inciting and then engaging in violence based on racism, sexism and anti-Semitism — has no place in our country,” Kaplan said in a statement.

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Charlottesville, joined by a number of businesses and neighborhood associations, also filed suit in state court on Thursday seeking a court order barring almost two dozen white nationalist individuals and groups from returning to Virginia as paramilitary units.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Russia and China blast US missile test

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Russia and China warned Tuesday that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow.

The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord.

Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.

The US Department of Defense announced on Monday it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.

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Leaked audio shows oil lobbyist bragging about success in criminalizing pipeline protests

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"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Derrick Morgan of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.

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Trump’s latest attempt to smear Scaramucci dunked in mockery

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At least one White House or campaign staffer apparently helped President Donald Trump attack his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- and he was met with mockery.

The president tweeted out a supercut video late Monday of Scaramucci defending Trump before his recent public disavowal, and attacked his former staffer as a "dope" who's seeking fame.

Nobody ever heard of this dope until he met me. He only lasted 11 days! pic.twitter.com/RzX3zjXzga

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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