The media is spinning out of control and incapable of providing a reasoned and accurate statement as to what happened in Charlottesville last weekend. Here is Shifting Right’s good faith effort to provide a timeline and cast of characters involved in the tragedy.
Unite the Right is an organization promoting demonstrations against removal of Confederate statues from public spaces in the South. It is made up primarily of extreme right-wing organizations such as the KKK and American Nazi Party.
Unite the Right applied for a permit to hold a demonstration at Emancipation Park in opposition to the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Charlottesville City Council and officials said they would approve the permit, but only if the demonstration was moved from Emancipation Park to McIntire Park.
Unite the Right sued to enjoin the city from changing the location claiming the demonstration would lose the symbolism of protesting in front of the statue to be removed. The injunction was filed early Friday by the civil rights organizations American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Albemarle County-based Rutherford Institute in Federal District Court.
University of Virginia Professor Walt Heinecke obtained permits for a counter-demonstration at McGuffey and Justice Parks.
Late last Friday afternoon Federal U.S. District Court Judge Glen E. Conrad issued the injunction against the city thus allowing Unite the Right to demonstrate in Emancipation Park. Judge Conrad was appointed to this position by George W. Bush.
On Friday evening a large crowd of Unite the Right folks gathered for a torch light demonstration at the University of Virginia which was disbursed by police as an unlawful assembly.
The first right wing protestors to show up at Emancipation Park on Saturday morning were militia organizations carrying loaded (Ed: semi) automatic weapons.
Simultaneously, left wing Antifa activists were bussed into Charlottesville wearing helmets and black shirts and armed with Billy Clubs. They were joined by several local activist organizations as well as protestors called out by various clergy in Charlottesville to oppose the Unite the Right organization’s demonstrations.
Local police were positioned in full riot gear to stop any violence. But according the ACLU, they were told not to intervene unless ordered to do so. The result was they stood by as the situation quickly spun out of control. The same thing has happened in Berkeley and other cities when riots involve Antifa protestors.
“There was no police presence,” Brittany Caine-Conley, a minister-in-training who protested the alt-right rally, told The New York Times. “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.”
James Alex Fields, a 20-year old from Maumee, Ohio, ran his car into the crowd of demonstrators. Mr. Fields has been enamored with the Nazi movement and KKK for most of his life. He is a diagnosed schizophrenic who was on antipsychotic drugs. His family life was filled with violence and murder, and he was under observation by the local police because of his deeply held radical beliefs.
To the best of our knowledge, the above is an accurate statement of facts leading up to the carnage.