This page was last updated on September 15, 2017.
As you read this, you may ask yourself why I wrote a piece that appears to favor the protesters. The reason is the tactics used by this rally’s counter protesters are exactly the same as they use against legitimate non-leftist events. I’ll come back to this topic toward the end.
Jason Kessler (JK), a Charlottesville resident, organized the “Unite the Right” demonstration. I don’t know who JK’s “right” is, but it’s not mine. According to Charlottesville’s “The Daily Progress,” those who know JK say he was a Democrat/leftist until very recently. For this piece, I’ll refer JK’s target groups (Nazis, and so on) as protesters and their opposition groups as counter-protesters.
Those who share the views of the counter-protesters like to claim the protesters were solely responsible for the violence. Both sides were responsible for the violence to one degree or another and both sides had their fair share of “haters.” It’s not arguable. Watch the videos.
Putting a bunch of postings together, here’s what appears happened.
In February of this year, the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove a Robert E. Lee statue from Lee Park.
In June, the city changed the name of Lee Park to Emancipation Park (EP).
On May 30th, JK applied for a city permit to hold a demonstration at EP on August 12th. The City approved the permit on June 13th and granted permits to counter-protest groups for other nearby city parks.
On August 7th, only five days before the long-planned demonstration, the City told JK it revoked his permit and he would get a permit only if he moved the demonstration to McIntire Park, about 1.8 driving/walking-miles from EP. The City did not modify or revoke the permits of the counter-protest groups.
On August 10th, JK went to a federal district court alleging the City was violating his First Amendment rights to free speech. The ACLU and The Rutherford Institute agreed as did a federal judge. The judge issued an injunction allowing the protest to take place the following day at EP.
On demonstration day (DD), counter-protesters attempted to block entry to EP and scuffles ensued. Based on the ACLU’s “Know Your Rights at a Protest,” it was illegal for counter-protesters to block entry to EP.
Both sides appear to agree the police didn’t do anything until the violence reached the point the event was declared an unlawful assembly and the police started getting everyone out of the park. Though I don’t blame the police because we’re responsible for our own actions, the police usually try to keep opposing, potentially-violent groups from coming in contact with each other.
Sometime after the police started getting both sides moved out of EP, a protester rammed his car into a bunch of counter-protesters on a street a couple of blocks away, killing a woman and injuring 19 other counter-protesters.
JK held a press conference the day following the riot. JK stood at the podium alone and had no security. The non-violent counter-protesters physically attacked JK. One of JK’s non-violent attackers punched him and another – a woman - tackled him to the ground as he tried to escape the non-hateful, non-violent mob chasing him. Police officers helped JK to his feet and stopped further pursuit by the non-violent attackers. The police held the non-violent guy (Jeff Winder) who punched JK but eventually released him after things calmed down. I don’t know if any of the other non-hateful, non-violent attackers were arrested or detained.
KKK membership peaked during the 1920s at about four million in a population of about 120 million. According to the SPLC, today’s KKK membership is between five and eight thousand in a population of about 320 million.
As covered previously, JK complied with the law and had a valid permit to hold the demonstration in EP. There would have been no violence had the anti-rally gang not disrupted the event by blocking entry to EP. What do you expect when you throw gasoline on a fire? Don’t get me wrong; the protester (allegedly James Fields, Jr.) who killed the counter-protester (Heather Heyer) was responsible, not the victim.
This type of behavior is a hallmark of leftist protest tactics; crash an event, incite violence, then blame the other guy. Local lefties tried the same thing at two local Trump (DT) rallies. The lefties incited violence at the Pittsburgh rally by attacking Pittsburgh Police officers trying to keep people from getting hurt, “a proper greeting” according to local/national agitprop Carl Davidson (KD). Fortunately, they were unsuccessful at the Ambridge rally.
Lefties were successful, however, in shutting down a DT rally in Chicago during his 2016 campaign. Unlike those backing the anti-DT mob, DT apparently worried about safety and cancelled the rally to avoid violence. Part of KD’s response was, “But this time Trump met his match. Reactionary spectacle was defeated by progressive counter-spectacle. Steal this idea for your towns!”
In a posting about Charlottesville, KD wrote, “I’m solid on the First Amendment. … If those you oppose don’t have a right to free speech, then no one does.” That’s nice, but it doesn’t mean what you think. While it’s possible KD may be “solid on the First Amendment,” keep in mind the First Amendment applies only to government interference. KD and his fellow travelers have no problem shutting down speech with which they disagree. That’s what we saw during the 2016 campaign.
About the Boston “Free Speech Rally” of 8/19/2017, KD wrote, “THIS IS AN EXCELLENT WAY TO DEAL WITH FASCISTS...Although whatever seems to work best for you is better than no opposition at all.” The photo with KD’s posting was of his fellow travelers fighting the police, not KD’s “FASCISTS.” Details are here.
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