Most of the recent time we’ve spent pondering the dregs of humanity has centered on sexual predators, but a new report from BuzzFeed has reminded us of another onerous group—namely, white supremacists (you’ll note there is some overlap between the two). Back on August 12, a bunch of white supremacists and neo-Nazis, many of whom toted guns or tiki torches, chanted things like “Jews will not replace us” as they marched in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a racist statue. The city was under siege throughout the weekend, as the president took the time to call some of the bigoted protesters “very fine people” even as he blamed counterprotesters who showed up to help out people on campus.
This so-called “Unite the Right” rally ended in the vehicular homicide of one civil rights activist, months of unrest, the arrest of neo-Nazi organizer Christopher Cantwell, and because this is America, the arrest of counterprotester DeAndre Harris, a Charlottesville hip-hop artist and teacher’s aide, for alleged assault of a white supremacist. You might recall Harris’ name—a video of Harris being viciously attacked by white supremacists went viral in the midst of the Charlottesville protests.
But now, the armed neo-Nazis thugs are facing some legal consequences—according to BuzzFeed, the city of Charlottesville is suing the rally’s organizers in an effort to prevent them from marching through the city or converging on the university’s campus again, as they promised/threatened they would. The city’s lawyers describe the Unite the Right rally organizers and attendees as acting like paramilitary groups or “private armies.”
“Without such relief, Charlottesville will be forced to relive the frightful spectacle of August 12: an invasion of roving paramilitary bands and unaccountable vigilante peacekeepers,” the plaintiff’s lawyers stated, while noting that no encroachment is being made on anyone’s Second Amendment rights. The city’s lawyers aim to “restore the longstanding public-private equilibrium disrupted by Defendants’ unlawful paramilitary conduct.”
The suit was filed on behalf of the city as well as well as local business owners and neighborhood associations. The rally organizers are also being sued by two women who were injured in the car attack that left activist Heather Heyer dead.