While the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia occurred nearly two years ago, some agitators are just now facing justice. James Alex Fields Jr., who rammed his car into a crowd of people, killing Heather Heyer, was just sentenced to life in prison in early July.
Three men from The Rise Above movement, a white supremacist group, also stood trial for their actions during Charlottesville. The three individuals will now face prison terms ranging from 25 to 37 months.
Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis and Thomas Gillen were all convicted of committing violent acts during the protests. According to The Hill, “Daley was sentenced to 37 months in prison, while Gillen received 33 months and Miselis received 27 months.”
The Charlottesville rallies were not the only events where the men were accused of committing violent acts. They had also attended two 2017 protests in California. A Justice Department official said that while the defendants were in California, “Violence erupted among the crowd, with some punching, kicking, spraying chemical irritants and swinging torches. They collectively pushed, punched, kicked, chocked, head-butted, and otherwise assaulted several individuals, resulting in a riot.”
US Attorney Thomas Cullen said of the actions in Charlottesville, “These defendants, motivated by hateful ideology, incited and committed acts of violence in Charlottesville, as well at other purported political rallies in California. They were not interested in peaceful protest or lawful First Amendment expression; instead, they intended to provoke and engage in street battles with those that they perceived as their enemies.”
A fourth member of the Rise Above movement will face sentencing at a later date.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.