Français: Charlottesville (Virginie) : 65 000 habitants, un maire juif et un chef de police noir. Cette ville, enclave progressiste dans le Sud conservateur des Etats-Unis, est devenue l’épicentre du visage le plus sombre de l’Amérique. Le KKK, les néo-nazis, les suprémacistes blancs et autres groupuscules d’extrême-droite s’y sont donnés rendez-vous, le samedi 12 août. En marge de ce rassemblement polémique de l’extrême droite américaine, une femme de 32 ans a également perdu la vie après avoir été fauchée par une voiture qui a foncé dans un groupe de contre-manifestants.
If there was any doubt about what kind of person went to protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, Vice News’s documentary should put those questions to rest: One side was white supremacists, some of whom openly endorsed violence.
Last Saturday hundreds of white nationalists, alt-righters, and neo-Nazis traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, to participate in the “Unite the Right” rally. Protests turned violent as these white supremacists clashed with counter-demonstrators, and a car ploughed into the crowd of anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters. By Saturday evening three people were dead – one protester and two police officers – and many more injured:
Heather D. Heyer, 32, a paralegal from Charlottesville who “was a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised and was often moved to tears by the world’s injustices.”
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) 17 août 2017
Two state troopers also died on Saturday. Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates were in a helicopter monitoring the demonstrations, when the helicopter fell and burst into flames. (NYTimes)
The driver of the car, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr was arrested shortly after the incident and was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run.
Described as one of the largest white supremacist events in recent US history, it was organised by Jason Kessler, a former journalist and a member of the Proud Boys, an ultra-nationalist group.
On Friday night, hundreds of white supremacists and neo-fascists had a torchlight march across the University of Virginia’s campus, a place to which they had not been invited. They openly chanted fascist slogans like “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us”. Furthermore, they chanted fascist slogans. They carried the colors of openly fascist organizations, which promote white supremacy, antisemitism, misogyny and the idea of a white ethno-state.
When they reached a much smaller group of counter-protesters gathered around a statue of Thomas Jefferson, they surrounded them, hurled verbal abuse and then commenced beating them with lit torches and fists, and using pepper spray on them. Some protesters told me they had been sprayed with lighter fluid while naked flames burned all around them.
Some of the people trapped around the statue responded with fists and pepper spray, but their actions, and their posture, was entirely defensive from the start.
The “alt-right”, on the other hand, came prepared for violence, and they were spoiling for it.
That night, it was not the left that “came charging, with clubs in their hands”. Quite the contrary.
— ♀️ The Anti-Trump (@Im_TheAntiTrump) 16 août 2017
On Saturday, again, the far-right protesters came primed for violence, and most counter-protesters adopted an entirely defensive posture.
On the video we see “VICE News Tonight” correspondent Elle Reeve who went behind the scenes with white nationalist leaders, including Christopher Cantwell, Robert Ray, David Duke, and Matthew Heimbach — as well as counterprotesters. VICE News Tonight also spoke with residents of Charlottesville, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Charlottesville Police.
This took place in Charlottesville, a university town of 46,000 people, in the state of Virginia in the United States.
Charlottesville has become a focal point of the resurgent white supremacist movement after officials there voted to take down a statue of the Confederate General Robert E Lee.
Why has the statue been an issue?
The statue was of Robert E. Lee, a general who fought in the American Civil War over 150 years ago. General Lee fought for the side that supported slavery, and owned slaves himself.
These events in Charlottesville show once again how the US is deeply divided when it comes to race.
— ABC News (@ABC) 16 août 2017
With Sources from Al-Jazeera , the Guardian, New York Times and RTL.fr*