This year marks the fifth anniversary of the violent Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA. Thousands of people attended the massive Nazi rally on August 11 and 12, 2017. Many of the participants have been identified, but there are still a greater many who have not been held accountable.
Despite the heavy cost, the sight of a community rising up and confronting thousands of fascists provided a glimpse into what is possible. Nazi scum who came from all over the world to terrorize and intimidate had to flee for their lives in the face of massive resistance.
The Sines V. Kessler trial showed that the organizers indeed had planned violence and intended this event to be a massive show of far right power. It was an unmitigated disaster for them personally and professionally. The organizers face massive civil liabilities. Many participants were jailed, fired, and shunned from their communities. The subsequent wave of doxes and deplatforming proved the efficacy of these tactics in the fight against fascism and bigotry.
Many of the organizations who were involved have been disbanded or been forced further underground.
One of the great canards surrounding Unite the Right is that many “very fine people” were somehow tricked into attending under the belief that this was really just a rally in opposition to the removal of Confederate monuments. Attendees travelled thousands of miles, booked flights and hotels, and made informed decisions to attend the rally organized by well-known fascists. The rally would end up turning deadly.
The top level marketing used overtly fascist imagery and the scheduled speakers consisted of a veritable “who’s who” of neo-Nazi leaders & e-celebs. While google results have worsened over time, the most cursory contemporaneous search on any of the names should have deterred any decent person.
There were more targeted advertisements aiming for more specific audiences. The following image explicitly names some of the groups involved including Identity Evropa, Vanguard America, and Traditionalist Workers Party–all explicitly neo-Nazi organizations.
Some of the Unite the Right marketing was super niche with respect to what this event was really about. The image below was issued by the neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer, and vows to “end Jewish influence in America.”
Perhaps in an effort to appeal to the merely racist and not necessarily antisemitic, some of the marketing for Unite the Right was strategically toned down. However former KKK and active antisemite and neo-Nazi David Duke’s posts surrounding the event are unambiguous.
The so-called “very fine people” who attended Unite the Right were attracted the event because of the overtly racist, fascist, and neo-Nazi marketing. One featured speaker was Dr. Micheal Hill, the leader of “League of the South”. Although the name of the organization is relatively innocuous sounding, Hill’s invitation was “to defend the South and Western civilization from the Jew and his dark-skinned allies.”
Unite the Right was an event created by Nazis and racists with intent to terrorize a community and send a worldwide message. Thousands of people attended. Thousands RSVPd via Facebook, many using their own given names. Unite the Right was a mass fascist mobilization and radicalization event.
Antifascists are continuing to work towards exposing every single person who participated.
We do not forgive. We do not forget.
This project is dedicated to Heather Heyer and all the victims of racism.