Shaver

Suspended
We seem to have experienced a dearth of political threads over here on the Interchange of late. Most curious, this lack, as we live in the proverbial Interesting Times.

This being so - Charlottesville. Does anyone believe that Antifa are less responsible than the White Supremacists for the recent violence?
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
Christening the new and improved interchange I see! Well played sir!

Both Antifa and Neo-Nazis are sores on our body politic. There's nothing Antifa about Antifa; they're fascists in the strictest sense of the word.

Were it up to me, I'd find a wide open field somewhere far away in the Midwest, and invite both sides to have at it. Perhaps we'll be rid of both with the greatest economy.

Of course, only when the corporate and political virtue signaling is over.
 

TheBarbaron

Senior Member
Incoming wall of text; apologies.

I do. I'm gonna claim the ability to speak with some sort of authority, as a native Virginian, a Charlottesville resident for ~14 years (and another couple of years in Richmond, capital of the ol' CSA). I met Richard Spenser at several alumni events (before anyone knew his politics). My showroom is on the street where Heather Heyer was murdered, and I can look out my window and see the shrine. I was Downtown for about four hours Saturday observing. My local drinking buddy was working the UVA emergency room for 12 hours, treating victims of the car attack and injured protestors on both sides (one of the alt-righters he treated tried to back him into a corner in the hospital room, and was found to have a concealed Bowie knife hidden in his waistband at the hospital).

I'll preface my comments by saying that I'm not a big Antifa fan. I'm a left-center Democrat and believe firmly in the value of non-violent protest; most Antifa that I've met our much farther left than I find easily palatable, and I don't generally agree with their methods.

The alt-righters came prepared and itching for a fight; this is the fourth rally in 2017 (alt-right in April, the Proud Boys in June, the Klan in July, and the much-larger rally last weekend), and the level of provocation offered has been steadily rising - in the early summer it was showing up in local businesses and throwing Heils, or driving their Stars-and-Bars festooned trucks around in local black neighborhoods and finding people to intimidate or threaten.

This weekend, they were ready and eager to escalate - the alt-right came with shields, and helmets, and torches, and pepper spray, and batons, and a 50-80 person militia with assault rifles. In addition to the widely publicized events (the car attack, the beating in the parking garage with poles, throwing torches at students ringing a statue of Jefferson at the Rotunda, bullrushing lines of peacefully protesting clergy), there were multiple reports of trucks driving through local neighborhoods shooting into the air, or jumping isolated minorities - some have been confirmed, some may be rumor or exaggeration.

Everyone I spoke with who saw the Antifa in action saw them playing defense - stopping ~100 torch wielders from charging through an arm-linked line of clergy, pushing back alt-righters from other protestors, forcing people out of areas. I'm sure fists flew, and boots, and some pepper spray and sticks were probably involved.

It's possible that if every single counterprotestor in the city had been a mute statue of silent protest, not much would have happened; it's also a distinct possibility that not having people around willing to push back would mean that a lot more of my neighbors and friends would be enjoying our moral high ground in the hospital.

I'm not going out to buy a bandanna and black fatigues (and they wouldn't fit my style anyway), but while I can disagree with them on many things, I can't honestly criticize them for coming ready to fight back against actual, non-hyperbolized, Nazis.

If anyone's still reading at this point, I'll throw out two cents on the statue, ignoring the fact that the statue is merely an excuse for Richard Spencer and his ilk.

The Lee and Jackson statues in Charlottesville were installed in the 20s and 30s during Jim Crow (the majority of CSA monuments went up in two time periods 1910-1930, and 1955-1970). The neighborhood they are in was the primary black community in Charlottesville, Vinegar Hill; the city was using a combination of eminent domain and strategic buying to push out black residents and make way for parks and shopping districts. The statues were installed (partly) as a reminder to black residents about whose city this was. There's a memorial for Confederate dead 100 yards away from Jackson on the courthouse grounds, and I haven't heard a single voice asking for its removal.

Lee himself opposed monuments and reminders of the Confederacy after the war; he preferred to have battlegrounds erased, and the Confederate flag retired to better heal the wounds of civil war. His direct descendants have supported removing his statues. The local community isn't trying to erase 19th century history; they're trying to correct 20th century mistakes.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
Both sides likely went there looking for trouble. The so called Antifa movement itself is no stranger to violence given it's actions this year alone on college campuses.

The neo-Nazi group should probably not have been give a permit to march (assuming that's even legal), or at least march right there. The police should have been more present and ready for some kind of trouble. The people who committed the violence, including the person who drove the car into the crowd, are solely to blame. However, government is also there to make sure that incidence like this don't happen.

I don't really care one way or another about the removal of the confederate statues. I'm not from the south nor to I sympathize with them in anyway. Their issues are for them to work out and whether statues come down or stay up is for each locality to decide through the political process. However, once the decision has been made to remove a statue, just remove. Come in in the middle of the night and take it down. Don't make a public spectacle of the event trying to score political points.

This was absolutely tragic unfortunately old wounds have been torn open again thanks to politicians and the press. Good work lads!
 

TheBarbaron

Senior Member
Unfortunately, we're constitutionally obligated to allow a permit; the city attempted to grant a permit for a different, larger, more removed park, but a last minute law suit forced them to grant it for Lee Park. The city council voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but a judge granted an injunction delaying any action on the statue by 6 months, so the city can't remove it yet. There were 1,000 first responders in the area, including city, county and state police.

And I agree that Antifa tend to see violence as a first or second resort, rather than a last, and when they throw rocks at distasteful speakers, I gladly condemn their actions. In this case, they were defending local residents from actual fascists, so I'm inclined to be a little less judgmental than usual.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
The NYT, no friend of the right, does not see it as black and white as you do.

Also, I'm having a bit of trouble with the semantics of all of this. For days we've been hearing the term "counter protestor". They're protestors. There were protestors on both sides of the issue (assuming either side really even had an issue). They were two groups of protestors that clashed.

There may have been over 1000 cops there, but there may as well have been 10,000. These protestors, on both sides, showed up with weapons, helmets and shields.

Now, when I'm out at a baseball field and I see a bunch of people dressed in baseball uniforms, gloves, bats and balls, I'm not shocked that they start playing baseball. Why were these groups permitted to show up with weapons as though going to war?

The day the city council voted to take it down, crews should have been dispatched that minute to do it. Be done with it.

The former mayor Daley and the feds were in disagreement about whether to shut down Meigs field. The mayor sent out crews in the middle of the night without anyone being told and bulldozed the runways. That ended that issue! The city was fined but so what.
 
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SG_67

Connoisseur
Boston? She's the mayor of Baltimore. I'm not sure the confederacy was well appreciated in Boston.

Regarding mayor Pugh, that's what I'm talking about! Just do it. Don't wring your hands and play Hamlet. Execution is what the executive does. She did and probably saved her city a lot of trouble.
 

triklops55

Super Member
Antifa isn't an organized group, like Neo-Nazis and white supremacist organizations. They are just a bunch of people who gather at certain times. I'm extremely progressive in my political views and had never heard of Antifa before this weekend. I'd certainly heard of the KKK, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. It's a false equivalene to compare an organized group of people who gather to make a demonstration of power with another group that spontaneously gets together to counter the first group.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
It's no false equivalence. We're judging them by their actions, not the principles for which they stand. Neo Nazis and the KKK are despicable and embrace the most abhorrent traits of humanity. Antifa? Well, who knows. From everything I've seen they are a mix of anarchists, leftists and just angry people who want to bring down "the system." Neither group offers any solutions nor do they inspire any sympathy. Both groups came looking for trouble. They found it and unfortunately there was murder.

Antifa as they call themselves may not be organized around a particular principle in the same way as Neo Nazis or the KKK, but they don't just "show up". They use social media and other methods of communication to gather. While they don't have a club house or hang out together, they are nevertheless organized in some basic sense of the word. These folks in VA didn't just "show up". They came in from different areas in an organized manner.
 

vpkozel

Super Member
Yes, Antifa is just as much to blame. And the city of Charlottesville deserves quite a bit as well. From everything that I have read, they basically let the two groups do as they wished.

The cause they neo nazis stand for - as abhorrent as it may be - has nothing to do with this at all.

US citizens are guaranteed the right to gather in protest - even if there is a danger of it becoming violent - and the government is required to support that right and do all that it can to keep it safe.
 
Boston? She's the mayor of Baltimore. I'm not sure the confederacy was well appreciated in Boston.

Regarding mayor Pugh, that's what I'm talking about! Just do it. Don't wring your hands and play Hamlet. Execution is what the executive does. She did and probably saved her city a lot of trouble.
Of course she's the mayor of Baltimore. She was the one who let the rioters go nuts and destroy businesses in her city. She is also the one who had all of the monuments in her city removed. I am just saying that action in other cities makes people forget all of her misdeeds. Boston is the site of the next Free Speech Rally this Saturday.
https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2017/08/14/free-speech-rally-boston/
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
Of course she's the mayor of Baltimore. She was the one who let the rioters go nuts and destroy businesses in her city. She is also the one who had all of the monuments in her city removed. I am just saying that action in other cities makes people forget all of her misdeeds. Boston is the site of the next Free Speech Rally this Saturday.
https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2017/08/14/free-speech-rally-boston/
Got it! I misunderstood the intention of your post. My apologies.
 

TheBarbaron

Senior Member
Also, I'm having a bit of trouble with the semantics of all of this. For days we've been hearing the term "counter protestor". They're protestors. There were protestors on both sides of the issue (assuming either side really even had an issue). They were two groups of protestors that clashed.

There may have been over 1000 cops there, but there may as well have been 10,000. These protestors, on both sides, showed up with weapons, helmets and shields.

Now, when I'm out at a baseball field and I see a bunch of people dressed in baseball uniforms, gloves, bats and balls, I'm not shocked that they start playing baseball. Why were these groups permitted to show up with weapons as though going to war?

The day the city council voted to take it down, crews should have been dispatched that minute to do it. Be done with it.
In order:
I use the term counterprotestor merely for clarity; it's unwieldy to say "alt-right/KKK/Nazi/white supremacist person" and "Antifa/BLM/peacenik/whatever person". Both side are protestors, and there's no dispute over that. On side is protesting the other's protest - hence, counterprotest.

I can't speak for the police response; perhaps it was botched, but I'm not well versed enough to comment. The same goes for the legality of bringing helmets and shields and poles, though I presume if bringing them got you arrested, few would bring them.

Your baseball analogy is fairly apt; I'm sure violence is more likely to break out when people come equipped for it. "When all you have is a hammer..." and all that. But to extend the metaphor a bit, if you know a baseball team who doesn't like you is coming to your yard, and they've advertised that they're bringing cleats and bats and gloves and balls and helmets, you have two choices- you can put on a summer suit and hope an umpire intervenes, or you can put on a helmet in case they start throwing fastballs at your head. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but it's easy to understand the impulse.

Lastly, quoted from the LA Times:
"In Virginia, where a lawsuit is proceeding over the Charlottesville City Council’s proposal to remove the Robert E. Lee statue, a state law bans cities from attempting to “disturb or interfere” with historic monuments and memorials.

The law, which Charlottesville officials have fought, previously stopped attempts in Alexandria and Loudoun County from removing Confederate statues."
 

cellochris

Super Member
Of course she's the mayor of Baltimore. She was the one who let the rioters go nuts and destroy businesses in her city. She is also the one who had all of the monuments in her city removed. I am just saying that action in other cities makes people forget all of her misdeeds. Boston is the site of the next Free Speech Rally this Saturday.
https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2017/08/14/free-speech-rally-boston/
Thanks for the head's up - much appreciated. I am in Connecticut visiting family this weekend but will be returning to the city Sunday and have forwarded the article to my friends in Boston. I hope people stay safe and smart.
 

Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
There was a great compromise at the end of the Civil War that allowed the country to move forward. The people in the south generally agreed that it was best if the Union had never been dissolved and the folks in the north agreed that the southerners fought bravely for a cause they believed in. This is a rather simplistic statement, but given the terrible aftermath of the war and the immediate need to reconstruct the south and have it rejoin the Union as a cooperative partner, there was really no other realistic way forward.

I don't have any time for Nazis, the KKK, antifa, or any other violent racist/facist/anarchist groups. I believe they all have the right to peacefully and legally exercise their right to free speech and that the state needs to protect this right and the safety of all people who are exercising their 1st amendment right in a responsible manner. I believe that people running riot and tearing tearing down public memorials, including memorials dedicated to post war reconciliation, pulls at the fabric of our nation and steers us into dangerous waters.

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/atla...onument-piedmont-park/6S670h6xMON2SqfzoKAc2M/

I pray for peace.

Cheers,

BSR
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
As do I. Believing as I do that the Left in this county is as tyrannical, anti-democratic, bigoted and antisematic as the altRight, there is still no excuse for allowing the existence of modern Nazis. Imagine your father, who may have landed on Normandy, looking at these modern scum and wondering just what in Hell he fought for.
 

Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
^ Yep, my great Uncle Pfc Doyce F Spruill, 101 Airborne 501PIR KIA, Normandy June 6, 1944.

Watching those young men stomping around with twee tiki torches, waving the Nazi flag and giving the fascist salute makes me ill.

And Nazism isn't even a home grown American mental illness. It is a German import!

Cheers,

BSR
 
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