Charlottesville Organizing 7 Months After Unite the Right

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7 months after Unite the Right, a turning point for both the anarchist and antifascist movements in the United States, as well as for the Alt-Right which organized it, there remains a flurry of activity on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the wake of the demonstration, which saw outnumbered antifascists defeat a larger enemy, locals on the ground were also tasked with supporting those facing charges, and people still dealing with the physical and emotional wounds left by the demonstration.

Wanting to know know more about this support and how people can show solidarity with those on the ground who are putting in the long term work, we talked with a local Charlottesville anarchist of color. In our discussion about how people have been building and mobilizing over the last 7 months, we first talked about the cases of DeAndre Harris, Corey Long, and Donald Blakney. While Harris’ charges were recently dropped, Long and Blakney are still facing charges for defending their community from violent neo-Nazis and KKK members, and all three are African-American men that are local to Charlottesville. Support for these three men has taken many forms, including fund raising, call-in campaigns, and also showing up for court and organizing demonstrations in solidarity.

Meanwhile, the Alt-Right itself is falling apart. Beyond purity spirals, drastic falling outs, and a debate around optics, groups like the Traditionalist Worker Party have self destructed, and ‘leaders’ like Chris Cantwell now claim that they will be turning into federal informants for the FBI. But while the neo-Nazis prepare to snitch and roll over on each other, antifascists and antiracists are standing strong, and have even successfully resisted a grand jury that was formed around the start of the year.

Grinding in the background has also been a series of lawsuits, from a perjury case centered around Jason Kessler, one of the main organizers of Unite the Right, and also another lawsuit that involves all of the key Alt-Right players from the demonstration as well as the main organizations. Unfortunately this lawsuit also names Redneck Revolt and the Socialist Rifle Association in its suit, and has been denounced for this “both sides” approach by local Charlottesville community groups. Where this lawsuit will lead in court is anyone’s guess, but if recent events are any indication, some of the Alt-Right will turn on their former comrades at the drop of a dime.

Lastly, we discuss how Kessler and other Alt-Right organizers are promoting the idea of another Unite the Right demonstration, to be held on the anniversary of the first event. While it is believed that such a demonstration would be universally opposed by the local population, it remains up in the air if the city will allow such an event to take place to begin with, or if the Alt-Right can even muster the forces in the face of growing infighting and disagreement.

The road out of Unite the Right has been a hard and heavy one, but the folks on the ground are showing us what long term support and dedication to those facing repression looks like. We must not forget that people are putting in this crucial work; after the tear gas has cleared and the news cameras have moved on to the next tragedy. The scars still haven’t healed and support is still needed, and hopefully this podcast helps to aid those on the ground in their efforts.

More Info: Solidarity Cville on Twitter, Stop the Next Unite the Right on Twitter. Solidarity Cville on Medium, and Donate Here.


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