Trump’s right-wing supporters go berserk

Trump's right-wing supporters go berserk

Screenshot from a CNN video, YouTube

Deaths and many injured in right-wing extremist violence in U.S. city of Charlottesville

Scenes that seem to have come from a re-enactment of the American Civil War played out over the weekend in the tranquil eastern American college town of Charlottesville. Flags of the Confederate States of America, the symbol of unbroken racism in the south of the United States, fluttered in the tumult of battle, while right-wing extremists armed with batons and shields fought several hours of pitched battles with anti-fascist demonstrators.

A 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 others injured after a car plowed into a group of counter-demonstrators. Five of the injured anti-fascist demonstrators are in critical condition, a spokesman for the University of Virginia Medical Center told The Washington Post.

This was obviously not an accident, as video footage of the incident shows. The vehicle accelerated fully before crashing into the group of protesters, and then rammed into people again in reverse. The as "lone wolf" acting driver, who initially committed hit-and-run, is now in police custody.

"Sheer hatred"

In addition, 14 people were injured in the street fighting, and two police officers were killed in a helicopter crash during the protests. On Saturday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the region, banning further planned right-wing extremist marches in the city. McAuliffe explained at a press conference that all the "Nazis and the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville", not be welcome here.

Mausice Jones of Charlottesville’s city government spoke of "Sheer hatred that came to our city in ways we feared, yet refused to acknowledge". Police forces in the city have also been criticized for their restraint against far-right rioters. Police officers had watched as attacks by far-right groups on counter-demonstrators escalated without intervening, several newspaper reports hailed.

Dispute over a monument to Robert E. Lee

The place of the riots is by no means a right-wing stronghold. Charlottesville is a Democratic-leaning college town of about 50,000 people in the U.S. state of Virginia, 80 percent of whose electorate voted Democratic in the last election. The small town came into the crosshairs of the extremist U.S. right-wing because of the city council’s decision to erect a memorial to Civil War general Robert E. Lee to be removed from city center.

Lee was commander-in-chief of the Confederate Army of Northern Virgina from 1862 to 1865. Through his undisputed tactical skills, Lee was able to inflict painful defeats on the superior Union forces time and again – for example, in his triumph at Chancellorville – and thus prolong the murderous U.S. Civil War by years. He therefore still serves as an important figure of identification for the racist right, especially in the southern United States.

"Unite the Right"

The extremist right, which is rapidly gaining strength under Trump, saw the protests against this decision of the city council on historical policy as an opportunity to bundle its forces and go on the offensive. Charlottesville was to be a beacon that launched the battle for the strabs. The marches, which lasted several days, were held under the motto "Unite the Right" in order to bring together the most diverse groups of the violent, extremist right.

Besides the "coarse Nazi organization" of the country, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, armed militiamen from the crude American gun-owning scene, the Ku Klux Klan or secessionist groups such as the League of the South also took part in the parades.

These traditional groups have now joined forces with the new generation of the extremist right, the alt-right movement, which has been largely formed on the Internet and social networks. Especially in Charlottesville, the cooperation between the "old" neo-Nazis and the infamous KKK lynch mob on the one hand, and the new generation of alt-right extremists on the other, who specialize in directing the right-wing hate swarm on the net, become manifest.

Several prominent leaders of this new U.S. right showed up in Charlottesville, Newsweek reported, in order to increase the mobilizing potential of the "Unite the Right"-to increase the number of marches.

On Friday, the extreme right-wing parades were opened in style with an evening torchlight march in which hundreds of racists and Nazis provocatively marched through the university grounds to the statue of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

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