Sunday, August 13, 2017

Police stood by as the RIOTS in #Charlottesville got OUT OF CONTROL! [vid]

State police and national guardsmen watched passively for hours as self-proclaimed Nazis engaged in street battles with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

via: HuffPost:

As tempers flared on BOTH SIDES, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing.

It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades. We walked the streets beginning in the early morning hours and repeatedly witnessed instances in which authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counter-protesters to physically battle.

Officials in Charlottesville had publicly promised to maintain control of the “Unite the Right” rally, which is the latest in a series of chaotic and bloody racist rallies that have roiled this college town, a place deeply proud of its links to Thomas Jefferson and the origins of American Democracy.

But the white supremacists who flooded into the city’s Emancipation Park — a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee sits in the center of the park — had spent months openly planning for war. The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi website, encouraged rally attendees to bring shields, pepper spray, and fascist flags and flagpoles. A prominent racist podcast told its listeners to come carrying guns. “Bring whatever you need, that you feel you need for your self defense. Do what you need to do for security of your own person,” said Mike “Enoch” Peinovich on The Right Stuff podcast.

And the white supremacists who showed up in Charlottesville did indeed come prepared for violence. Many wore helmets and carried clubs, medieval-looking round wooden shields, and rectangular plexiglass shields, similar to those used by riot police.

Clad in a black, Nazi-style helmet, Matthew Heimbach told ProPublica, “We’re defending our heritage.” Heimbach, who heads the Traditionalist Workers Party, a self-declared fascist group, said he was willing to die for his cause and would do whatever it took to defend himself. He was surrounded by a brigade of white supremacists, including members of the League of the South and the National Socialist Movement.

By the time Heimbach and his contingent arrived in downtown Charlottesville shortly before 11 a.m., what had started hours earlier with some shoving and a few punches had evolved into a series of wild melees as people attacked one another with fists, feet, and the improvised weapons they’d brought with them to the park. White supremacists and anti-racists began blasting each other with thick orange streams of pepper spray.

The police did little to stop the bloodshed. Several times, a group of assault-rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights.

Shortly before noon, authorities shut down the rally and the related demonstrations and marched the white supremacists out of the park and into the streets.

Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy defended the police tactics. “I’m not in the business of throwing our police department under the bus, because they’re doing the best job they can, “ said Bellamy. “I don’t think the police officers were just twiddling their thumbs.”

The skirmishes culminated in what appears to have been an act of domestic terrorism, with a driver ramming his car into a crowd of anti-racist activists on a busy downtown street, killing one and injuring 19 according to the latest information from city officials. Charlottesville authorities tonight reported that a 20-year-old Ohio man, James Alex Fields, Jr had been arrested and had been charged with murder.  The VICTIM was 32 year old Heather Heyer.

Heyer was reportedly hit and killed by Fields as she crossed the street during the protests. Here’s some information on her:

1. She lived in Charlottesville. A post Sunday by the city on its Facebook page identified Heyer as a Charlottesville resident. USA Today identified Heyer as a 2003 graduate of William Monroe High School in Stanardsville, Va., and she was reportedly from nearby Ruckersville. Va. Both communities are north of Charlottesville near Shenandoah National Park.

“She always stands up for what she believes in, and we had spoken about mixed race couples and families,” said Lauren Moon, who told the newswpaper she had been friends with Heyer since third grade.

2. She worked as a paralegal. A biography of Heyer on the website of Miller Law Group in Charlottesville says she had been part of the firm’s bankruptcy department for the past four years. She worked with clients to guide them through the process and handled bankruptcy paperwork.

“Heather takes pride in assisting clients on getting a fresh start to financial freedom and looks forward to many more years of helping clients find financial relief,” says the biography.

3. A quote on her Facebook page reads “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” Heyer made the anonymous quote her cover photo on Nov. 19. In March she had posted a photo to her Facebook page appearing to support the presidential run of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

“She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her,” Felicia Correa, a childhood friend speaking for Heyer’s mother, told the New York Daily News.

4. A GoFundMe page for her family raised $109,000 in less than 24 hours. The GoFundMe page was set up by Correa, her childhood friend, to provide for any needs of Heyer’s family following her death. The page had been shared 25,000 times on Facebook by Sunday morning.

R.I.P. Heather...

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