What was supposed to start at 12:00PM EST on Saturday Aug. 12, 2017 in Emancipation Park to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, in fact, started Friday Aug 11 with a rally on the University of Virginia Campus for the same reason. Unite the Right’s intention was to unify the fractured parts of the right wing political party. What they meant in this regard was the White Nationalists, The Detroit Right, The Ku Klux Clan (White Supremacists), The Vanguard, who some are claiming as Neo-Nazis, and Skinheads. Unite the Right gathered on the campus with torches and chants of their own:
“White Lives Matter”
“You will not replace us.”
“Blood and Soil.”
They were met with counter protesters and fights broke out on the campus. The altercations which lead to arrests, started when the opposing groups met at the Thomas Jefferson Statue. There was one arrest that night and minor injuries before police broke up the assembly. It did not stop there.
Saturday morning, The crowd started to gather for the official rally, which was planned for noon and upwards of 6,000 people were expected to attend. There was a problem, however it would run into problems when the police were trying to get them to leave twenty minutes prior to the start saying that is was an unlawful assembly.
This would later be found a violation of the First Amendment by a federal. judge, but it would not stop what happened next. Approximately 25 minutes after the rally started, the City Manager declared a local emergency as BLM and Antifa appeared and skirmishes started to break out. Soon after, the Governor declared a State of emergency.
Close to 1:00PM EST, in a press conference, Trump denounced the violence from both sides, which drew ire from the left. The First Lady denounced the violence as well. Jason Kessler, the organizer of the event and Richard Spencer were trying to direct the crowd to leave in a peaceful manner. That did not stop what happened next.
An hour later, a silver Dodge Charger registered to James Alex Fields, Jr., ran into a crowd of people in the street killing a 32-yr old woman, Heather Heyer, and injuring others. It is not clear if Fields was associated with any of the groups present. Though some sources claim he is affiliated Vanguard America (seen in the picture below), the group does not claim him a member. There are also conflicting reports as to whether the woman struck was affiliated with any group.
There was a State Trooper’s Helicopter which was circling the event crashed a few hours after the car crash, killing the two troopers within it. Even though several sources link the crash to the event, there is no concrete evidence that relates the crash to the event. Lt H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Burke M.M. Bates were in the helicopter at the time of the crash.
Three people died on Saturday and a reported 34 people were injured.
James Alex Fields, Jr. was arrested and charged with one count of Second Degree Murder, three counts of malicious wounding, failure to stop for an accident involving a death, and hit and run. As of Saturday, the jailer reports James has not asked for an attorney.
The FBI is investigating the possible civil rights issues that has been tied to the accident, and the Chief of Charlottesville Police is investigating it as a possible domestic terror attack. More information will be reported as it becomes available.
Richard Spencer was also arrested along with one other.
My Two Cents
This has been brewing for a while, since about 2011-12, when Obama was turning a blind eye to the BLM, and the argument about the Confederate flag and Civil War monuments were coming to a head with many southern states putting to a vote as to whether or not state flags should be changed and monuments should be taken down and placed in museums. If you add to this identity politics, the perpetually offended regressive left, and the rise of Antifa, you had a powder keg with a long, slow fuse.
Putting this news story together was not easy, but sorting through the rhetoric to get to the facts never is. It is still up in the air if the victim of the car crash was affiliated with one of the groups present or was just there to watch the unfolding events.