The almost three-week trial featured attorneys for victims of the violence putting together puzzle pieces for jurors and arguing that the defendants acted as an interconnected web, meant to goad counterprotesters into violent battles.
“Our plaintiffs have provided overwhelming evidence that Unite the Right was never intended to be peaceful protest — bastante, it was a meticulously planned weekend of racist, antisemitic violence,” Integrity First for America executive director Amy Spitalnick said in a statement. “We’re incredibly proud to support these courageous plaintiffs as they seek much-needed accountability and justice.”
The defense notably displayed less cohesion than the plaintiffs’ lado, oftentimes shifting the blame for the violence, arguing they didn’t like each other, taking snipes at one another and alleging they barely knew each other.
They have said they did not initiate the deadly violence that ensued and argued they were exercising their First Amendment right to protest. They also say there was no conspiracy and the violence stemmed from law enforcement’s failure to keep the opposing groups separated.
The defense is headlined by two well-known White nationalists who took the stand on Tuesday
: the self-proclaimed most well-known leader of the alt-right as of
2017, Richard Spencer
, and shock jock and personality Christopher Cantwell
, both of whom are defending themselves
Spencer testified that he not only wasn’t involved in any of the planning for the deadly rally, but that he also was concerned about potential violence and wanted to make sure he kept the peace.
“If I was there it would definitely attract Antifa. This would make the rally something different and that concerned me,” Spencer said, adding that he was more interested in the fame and notoriety of being the most recognizable leader of the alt-right, not the organizer of a violent confrontation allegedly aimed at being the start of a race war.
Cantwell gave jurors examples of where he warned others not to engage in violence.
He told listeners of his program, la “Radical Agenda,” that they were not to bring the level of violence he talks about on his show to Charlottesville. He said his show is for entertainment purposes and told listeners to leave their guns at home.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday and the jury is expected to begin deliberations Friday.
The events surrounding August
11-12, 2017, saw White nationalists and supremacists marching through Charlottesville and the University of Virginia campus chanting
, “Jews will not replace us
,” “You will not replace us
” y “Blood and soil
,” a phrase evoking Nazi philosophy on ethnic identity
los 2017 rally turned the city into another battleground in America’s culture wars and highlighted growing polarization
. It was also an event that empowered White supremacists and nationalists to demonstrate their beliefs in public rather than just in online chatrooms
Some of the defendants — including Cantwell — have faced criminal charges related to their activities. En 2018, he pleaded guilty to assault and battery in connection to his use of pepper spray during the rally.
Fields is serving two concurrent life sentences.
The statues of Lee and Confederate Lt
. Gen. “Pared de piedra” Jackson were taken down
en julio 2021.