The counter-rally against the KKK on July 8 was almost entirely peaceful. Throughout the day, almost 1000 counter-demonstrators attended and creatively resisted the KKK’s message without resorting to violent measures. However, the same cannot be said for the KKK’s supporters, the alt-right, who came to the demonstration with the intent to provoke violence.
Around the 2:14 mark in the video below you can see a well-known local alt-right figure violently shove the handle of his cane into the throat of a peaceful counter-demonstrator. A police officer clearly sees the assault and intervenes, not against the assailant, but against the victim.
This incident runs counter to the narrative that the alt-right are victims of violence from leftist demonstrators. The events of July 8 showed that anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators did not instigate violence, but rather were victims of violence and abuse at the hands of alt-right demonstrators. The incident also clearly highlights that the police are not there to protect peaceful protestors, but rather the presence of police reinforces a damaging power dynamic that results in unnecessary violence.
Solidarity Cville re-iterates its demand that the City revoke the August 12 permit for the “Unite the Right” rally in Emancipation Park. The events of July 8 show that peaceful counter-demonstration is met with violence instigated from the right. The presence of hundreds of alt-right personalities is an evident threat to public safety, and our community can no longer allow them to continue to bring violence into our streets.