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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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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UK opposition chief Corbyn ‘sorry’ for election wipeout

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Britain's main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn apologised Sunday for waging a disastrous campaign that handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson a mandate to take the UK out of the EU next month.

But the veteran socialist defended his far-left platform and blamed the media for helping relegate his century-old party to its worst performance since before World War II.

"I will make no bones about it. The election result on Thursday was a body blow for everyone who so desperately needs real change in our country," Corbyn wrote in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

"I wanted to unite the country that I love but I'm sorry that we came up short and I take my responsibility for it."

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The real outrage of the Afghanistan war papers that no one wants to talk about

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On Monday, December 9, The Washington Post released a confidential trove of 2,000 pages of government documents that revealed that senior U.S. officials repeatedly failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan. They document in detail a practice of lying, deception and whitewashing that covered up unmistakable evidence that the war had no grand plan, no end in sight and no consistent leadership.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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2020 Election

How Michael Bloomberg made life worse for the poor in New York

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Death catches us the way we live.

So it was last week in a lower Manhattan subway station that serves the financial district when Shamari Anderson, a homeless 2-year old boy, was struck and killed by an uptown 2 train during the evening holiday rush.

This article first appeared on Salon

According to press accounts, his 20-year-old mother was juggling bags from the Dollar Store when she put her son down to fix his clothes. In an instant, the high energy toddler escaped her grasp and was struck by the subway.

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