Posts tagged with "Neo-Nazi"

Jury in Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ rally trial finds leaders liable for more than $25 million

November 25, 2021

A federal jury in Virginia awarded victims of violence stemming from a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, more than $25 million on Tuesday, November 23, after finding prominent white-supremacist leaders and groups liable under state law for injuries suffered during a torchlight march and Unite the Right event, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The jury deadlocked on two federal conspiracy counts.

The events on August 11 and August 12, 2017, were attended by hundreds of members of white-nationalist, neo-Nazi and militia groups from around the nation. Throughout the weekend, violent clashes with counter-protesters left dozens injured and one woman dead, after a white-nationalist demonstrator drove his car into a crowd.

The lawsuit was filed in October 2017 by several people who were injured that weekend. The plaintiffs used a Reconstruction-Era law to attempt to hold liable the leaders and organizers who planned the violence and others who carried it out.

Among the individual and organizational defendants found liable were Jason Kessler, the primary organizer of the Unite the Right rally; Richard B. Spencer, considered a founder of the insurgent white-supremacist movement known as the alt-right; and James Fields Jr., who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a woman when he drove into a crowd of counter-protesters.

The jury also held responsible several other white-supremacist groups whose members promoted and participated in the rallies, including the National Socialist Movement, Vanguard America, and League of the South.

Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America, a nonprofit civil-rights organization funding the lawsuit, said the plaintiffs sought to recover enough money to bankrupt those at the center of the movement

“These judgments underscore the major financial, legal, and operational consequences for violent hate,” she said Tuesday.

The lawsuit sought compensatory damages between $7 million and $10 million for the four plaintiffs who were hit by the car and between $3 million and $5 million for the other plaintiffs for trauma they suffered, as well as unspecified punitive damages.

Throughout the monthlong trial, jurors heard testimony from at least two dozen witnesses, including many of the defendants.

The two counts that the jury deadlocked on used a Reconstruction Era law—the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871—which allows victims of racially-motivated violence to sue the people who conspired to attack them.

Jurors deliberated for nearly three days before returning the verdict Tuesday afternoon, holding all defendants responsible for conspiracy under Virginia state law.

The jury also found Fields liable for claims of assault or battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. On those counts, jurors awarded the plaintiffs $13.5 million in damages, including $12 million in punitive damages.

Co-lead counsels for the plaintiffs, Roberta Kaplan and Karen Dunn, said, in a statement Tuesday, “The laws of this country will not tolerate the use of violence to deprive racial and religious minorities of the basic right we all share to live as free and equal citizens.”

Research contact: @WSJ

Haters are outnumbered at ‘Unite the Right 2’ DC rally

August 14, 2018

The organizers expected as many as 400 people to attend the far right, white nationalist/neo-Nazi demonstration billed as Unite the Right 2 in Washington, D.C., on August 11—however they were way outnumbered by the crowd who showed up to protest bigotry and defend diversity, according to a report by Slate.

A small group of about 20 white supremacists—led by Jason Kessler, who also organized the Unite the Right rally last year in Charlottesville—traveled into Washington, D.C. via subway. When they emerged, counterprotestors were waiting for them—shouting, “Go home!” and “You’re not welcome here!”

While the white supremacists had a police escort and their opponents did not, many white nationalists left the rally early—disappointed by the lack of support and drowned out by the chanting of DC Unite Against Hate and about 40 other anti-racism groups, who gathered in a force of nearly 1,000 people to take a stand at the demonstration.

Other neo-Nazis simply did not show up. Kessler told CNN that he blamed the low turnout on logistical issues and confusion regarding the group’s transportation—a claim echoed by at least two men who spoke to reporters. “People are scared to come out after what happened last year,” one of the men added.

“Our message is to let everyone know we support each other,” Maurice Cook, a co-organizer for the March for Racial Justice, told the Washington, D.C. ABC-TV News affiliate, WJLA, where his group gathered in a “United Against Hate” counterprotest in Freedom Plaza.

Kaitlin Moore, 28, of Frederick, Maryland, told CNN she was participating in counterprotests in Lafayette Square to “show this is not okay.”

In a tweet on Saturday morning, President Donald Trump wrote, “We must come together as a nation.I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”

According to CNN, “It was a departure from his comments a year ago, when he said there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides of the conflict in Charlottesville.”

Research contact@dpoliti

Anti-Semitic GOP Senate candidate may challenge Dianne Feinstein

May 1, 2018

Overt anti-Semites who are members of the “alt-right” movement are said to have helped President Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016—and now one of them has an outside chance to represent the Republican Party in a midterm Senate race, Newsweek reported on April 28.

The hard-line white supremacist in question is Patrick Little, who will be squaring off against ten other Republicans in a “top-two primary” on June 5 in California—aimed at beating incumbent Dianne Feinstein in the general election on November 6.

A poll conducted by local ABC News affiliates along with the organization, Survey USA, suggested that Little is polling at 18% of the vote on the Republican ticket— a full ten points ahead of his next-strongest opponent, the researchers found.

The 84-year-old Feinstein, who first entered office in 1992, at the start of  former President Bill Clinton’s first term, remains a solid favorite to win the state—polling at 39%.

According to Newsweek, Little has said he believes Jews should have no say over white non-Jews and wants to see them removed from the country altogether. The weekly news magazine reports that, on Gab, a social media site with large numbers of extremist users, Little has asserted that the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, whose editors praise Adolf Hitler, is too Jewish.

 He also wrote that he wanted to keep Americans “free from Jews.”

Research contact: @MichaelEHayden

Would you punch a Nazi in the nose?

November 8, 2017

Is it okay to pack a punch when you find yourself at a rally of Neo-Nazis or white supremacists? In response to the Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey, results of which were released on November 3, most Americans said no.

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents to the national poll of 2,300 U.S. adults believe it is not morally acceptable to punch a Nazi in the nose. About one-third (32%), however, say that taking decency and integrity into your own hands—literally—is acceptable.

Among strong liberals, a slim majority (51%) say it’s moral to punch Nazis. Only 21% of strong conservatives agree.

Strong liberals’ approval of Nazi-punching is not representative of Democratic ideology as a whole, the Cato survey found. A majority (56%) of Democrats believe it is not morally acceptable to punch a Nazi. Thus, tolerance of violence as a response to offensive speech and ideas is found primarily on the far Left.

The survey found that liberals were more likely to consider upsetting and controversial ideas to be “hateful” rather than simply “offensive.” This may help partially explain why staunch liberals are more comfortable than the average American with using violence against Nazis.

What’s more, approval for punching Nazis also varies with age and race. Millennials are nearly twice as likely (42%) as people over 55 (24%) to say such violence is morally justified.

African Americans (45%) are also more likely than whites (28%) and Latinos (35%) to say punching Nazis is okay. Nevertheless, majorities of each of these groups say physical force is not justified, even against a Nazi.

The survey was designed and conducted by the Cato Institute in collaboration with YouGov. YouGov collected responses online August 15 through August 23, nationally.

Research contact: Emily Ekins (202-789-5200)