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Linked articles in bold purple
◆ The dominating story of the day, naturally, is the deliberate automobile attack by a white nationalist on counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring scores more. Two more were killed when a police helicopter crashed near the city.
The deadly driver has been charged with serious crimes, but not with first-degree murder. We’ll know more about his connections to others on the extreme right as the investigation unfolds.
The woman killed, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was “there standing up for what was right,” said her friends and family. (Washington Post)
The US Department of Justice is now investigating the crime as a civil-rights violation.
Comment: Since this heinous act seems to be connected with the organized white-nationalist march, it might be prosecuted under Federal RICO statutes, as well, if those connections can be established.
Actually, I am surprised the Department of Justice has not looked into using these statutes for demonstrations that are clearly organized with violent purposes.
There are two important, related stories (below):
- The larger march and
- President Trump’s statement about it.
◆ The larger march by white nationalists and neo-Nazis and the counter-protest, which led to violent clashes.
For the Charlottesville paper’s report on the events, click here. (The Daily Progress, Charlottesville)
Both sides came prepared for violence, wearing protective helmets, masks and carrying flags. When violence broke out, many of the flags were stripped from the wood handles and the handles were used as clubs.
Both sides brought street medics equipped with bandages and fluids for flushing eyes and skin afflicted with pepper spray.
Alt-right demonstrators arrived at Emancipation Park around 9 a.m. with several counter-protesters already present. While the demonstrators milled about the park waving flags, several protesters prayed nearby and others sang while state police ringed the marchers to keep the sides separate inside the park.
One right-wing group in military garb, carrying rifles and wearing pistols, stood between the pro-white demonstrators and counter-protesters….
One African-American reporter was punched by an alt-right demonstrator wearing a T-shirt with a portrait of Adolf Hitler.
Protesters pelted the alt-right marchers trying to enter the park with balloons filled with paint and both sides hurled water bottles, some with urine inside, and other makeshift missiles at each other. As more scuffles broke out, the two sides began clubbing each other with the flag poles, sticks and makeshift clubs. Others threw road flares and other items across Market Street at each other. –Daily Progress, Charlottesville
Comment: ZipDialog always tries to highlight the best local reporting. In this case, as in so many, the local journalism is more informative than the national, fly-in reporters.
◆ President Trump’s condemnation of the violence from “many sides” has been sharply criticized (including by many Republicans) for failing to single out white nationalists.
This NYT headline is fairly typical: Trump Is Criticized for Not Calling Out White Supremacists (New York Times)
He was the only national political figure to spread blame for the “hatred, bigotry and violence” that resulted in the death of one person to “many sides.” –New York Times
A good example of the conservative criticism is this article by Weekly Standard editor, Stephen Hayes:
Why Won’t Trump Denounce White Supremacists?
Why won’t President Trump be as specifically and unequivocally critical of white supremacists as he is of the media? –Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard