White Supremacists Sued Over Deadly Alt-Right Rally, Inciting Racial Violence
Several white supremacist individuals and groups are named as defendants in a lawsuit addressing their actions with regard to an alt-right rally in Charlottesville Virginia that turned deadly. Plaintiffs say that these individuals, including Richard Spencer and Christopher Cantwell, and groups including the League of the South and multiple KKK chapters, through their planning of the event and their promotion of racially-charged violence, resulted in the “direct, intended, and foreseeable result” of one death, several physical injuries, and widespread trauma in their victims.
In the lawsuit (pdf), ten plaintiffs say that the attack in CHarlottesville in 2018 was not an accident or a surprise.
The events…commonly referred to simply as “Charlottesville” were part of defendants’ coordinated campaign to intimidate, incite, harass, and cause violence to people based on their race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation…”
Neo-Nazi Defendant Richard Spencer — who’s been credited with coining the term ”alt-right” — organized the violent torchlight rally at his alma mater, UVA, on August 11th.
Spencer has said that our lawsuit is “totally detrimental to what I’m doing” and “financially crippling.” pic.twitter.com/SLtBw4Nn4O
— Integrity First for America (@IntegrityforUSA) August 7, 2020
Describing the online behavior of the defendants in days leading up to the Charlottesville rally, plaintiffs say, “In countless posts on their own websites and on social media, Defendants and their co-conspirators promised that there would be violence in Charlottesville, and violence there was.”
As NPR reported last year, James Alex Fields, the man who drove into a crowd of protestors, killing Heather Heyer, was found guilty on dozens of charges, including leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated malicious wounding, and first-degree murder. He is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
While he’s included as a defendant in this lawsuit, Integrity First America lists others, including Proud Boy Jason Kessler, an organizer of the event; Richard Spencer, who led the torchlight rally and is accused of inciting racial violence; Andrew Anglin, who promoted the rally through his website, which he bills as “the world’s most genocidal;” the Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights, which describes itself as the “tactical defensive arm” of the Proud Boys, and KKK chapters that participated in the event.