Political extremists clashed Saturday before a “Unite the Right” rally planned around a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, and as usual the police sat back and did virtually nothing as left-wingers rioted.
Described as a “white nationalist” event, radical rightist and racist Richard Spencer was on the list of speakers scheduled to address the audience. Although not every right-winger attending the “Unite the Right” rally (which might have been more aptly named “Hijack the Right”) was a fascist and not every counter-protester was an authoritarian extremist, the fighting appears to have been largely between the extremists from both ends of the political spectrum.
In a rare instance of what appears to be terrorism emanating from the so-called extreme Right, police say alleged neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, 20, used his car to plow into a crowd of counter-protesters not far from the scheduled rally at Emancipation Park.
About 20 people were injured, one of them fatally. Paralegal Heather D. Heyer, 32, was killed. Fields was arrested and is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Fields was captured quickly by the police but witnesses suggested that was about the only thing the police did well. Tragically, two Virginia State Police officials were killed in a helicopter crash on the way to Charlottesville to provide assistance. Foul play is not suspected.
As things got out of hand in the streets, by late morning Saturday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) had declared a state of emergency and the crowd was ordered to disperse. The noontime “Unite the Right” rally had never officially gotten underway.
Riot eyewitness Levi Smith told online commentator Brittany Pettibone the police didn’t do much to prevent the violence. “I got there and the police were incredibly hands-off.”
Bottles of urine were thrown and some in the crowd wielded pepper spray. And people began to hit each other with clubs.
A young “antifa” thug beat up a female reporter from a mainstream media outlet who was covering the first-responders dealing with the aftermath of the car crash.
A tattooed, shirtless Jacob L. Smith, 21, of Louisa, Virginia, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for striking Taylor Lorenz, a reporter for The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper focusing on politics. An outstanding warrant was pending against Smith when he was arrested.
Lorenz waded into a crowd of counter-protesters to take video footage. About 15 minutes after the car attack, Smith asked her to stop filming without offering an explanation why. He shouted, “Stop the f--king recording!” She continued filming and he punched her in the face, knocking the recording device out of her hand and onto the ground.
Rally organizer and blogger Jason Kessler tried to hold a press conference after the various melees but was reportedly shouted down by an angry mob of leftists and punched by a man identified as Jeff Winder. It was unclear at time of writing if Winder had been arrested for the assault.
“What happened yesterday was the result of the Charlottesville police officers refusing to do their job,” he said. “They stood down and did not follow through with the agreed-upon security arrangements.” The police “exacerbated” the violence by failing to separate the two sides, he added.
As Kessler walked away from the media scrum, a Virginia State Police officer witnessed a man spitting on Kessler. Charlottesville resident Robert K. Litzenberger, 47, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.
In a separate interview online, Kessler told “The Red Elephants” that local police “stood down” and refused to protect the rally attendees.
State troopers were out in force to provide security for the rally but for the first hour and a half, Charlottesville police were nowhere to be found, he said.
“Blood is on the hands of the Charlottesville City Council and possibly on [Governor] Terry McAuliffe,” Kessler said.
Brittany Caine-Conley, a minister in training at a local church, faulted the police.
“There was no police presence,” she said. “We were watching people punch each other; people were bleeding all the while police were inside of barricades at the park, watching. It was essentially just brawling on the street and community members trying to protect each other.”
Caine-Conley and many other witnesses interviewed by the New York Times said police waited too long to intervene. Caine-Conley called it “fascinating and appalling.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said that apart from failing to prevent the mass casualties that occurred, the state troopers did “great work.”
Observing the various melees from the safety of a sixth-floor command post, Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety and homeland security, seemed amused by the violence. “I compare it to hockey,” he told the New York Times. “Often in hockey there are sporadic fights, and then they separate.”
Moran rationalized the inaction by the police. “But from our plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and property, it went extremely well.”
It is a common complaint by right-of-center activists that the police refuse to halt leftist violence. We see it time and time again. When Milo Yiannopoulos tried to speak at UC Berkeley this year, the police stood down and allowed left-wingers to run wild, damaging property, assaulting people, and setting fires.
So who’s in charge of the local government in Charlottesville? You guessed it: a far-left Democrat ideologically similar to Barack Obama who supports the goals of antifa (short for anti-fascists) and the DNC-endorsed Black Lives Matter movement.
Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer is, of course, a leftist who has been involved in Democrat politics for years going back at least to the John Edwards presidential campaign. He received a Ph.D. in political science from -- of all places -- UC Berkeley and teaches a course at the University of Virginia titled "Race, Policy and the Past.”
The mayor, who appears regularly in national media to denounce President Trump, had previously tried to deny the permit for the rally but the ACLU backed organizers in a lawsuit and a federal judge reinstated the permit.
No one appeared more delighted by the violence than Mayor Signer who promptly used the opportunity to smear President Trump, who obviously had nothing to do with it.
“Well look at the campaign he ran,” Signer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand of all these white supremacist, white nationalist groups, anti-Semitic groups; and then look on the other hand, the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence, put to bed all those different efforts, just like we saw yesterday.”
Signer’s statement was a lie from start to finish. Trump has not courted any white-supremacist, white-nationalist, or anti-Semitic groups. He has condemned such groups over and over again. How many times must he condemn people with whom he has nothing to do?
On Saturday, Trump condemned the “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville. Left-wingers and a few Republicans including NeverTrumper Bill Kristol sharply criticized Trump for being insufficiently specific. The next day the White House offered a clarification, saying Trump condemns violence, bigotry, and hatred, and “of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all extremist groups.”
Trump critics reject Trump’s blanket condemnation because they say it “equates the actions of the white supremacists with those of the counterprotesters,” according to Politico.
If the president meant to say both sides were bad, he’s 100 percent correct because both sides are fascist. White-supremacists, Klansmen, and neo-Nazis are openly fascistic while left-wing antifa are covert fascists who falsely claim to oppose fascism in order to occupy the moral high ground. Both sides believe in a massive, authoritarian state and in using violence to accomplish their political goals. The extreme Right hates blacks and Jews and some other groups; the extreme Left hates whites, Jews, rich and middle-class people, cops, and Americans in general.
There is a reason why the Left tries so hard to force public figures like President Trump to denounce people they hate. If he won’t, they can condemn him and control a few news cycles’ worth of media coverage and accuse him of moral cowardice and complicity for not speaking out. If he obliges them, they still win, because the denunciation receives media coverage. The more it gets repeated, the more the idea can be cemented in the public mind that, hey, maybe this guy really does have a connection to these bad people. Getting the target to repeat the lie that he is associated with right-wing extremists, if only to smack it down right away, serves over time to make the repeated lie seem like a “Freudian slip” by the speaker, thus reinforcing the lie in the minds of the public.
Community organizing communist Saul Alinsky took it further, urging his followers to dress in Ku Klux Klan uniforms and show up at Republican rallies with signs endorsing the Republican speaker. Left-wingers tried to do this sort of thing to Ronald Reagan many times and he almost never took the bait. It is simply not the job of the president of the United States to denounce every single evil person or act that takes place in the nation.
Mayor Signer doesn’t get that. To the Left everything is political – even silence.