Charlottesville 3.0

Charlottesville 3.0

Charlottesville 3.0

Richard Spencer promises they will be back, but what can be done to prevent white nationalist protests?

Richard Spencer promises they will be back, but what can be done to prevent white nationalist protests?

Text: Cassidy Morrison

Richard Spencer, white nationalist superstar and organizer, summoned his minions to the third protest in Charlottesville yesterday in Emancipation Park, beneath the statue of Robert E. Lee. The statue, which has been covered with black tarp, has become a centerpiece of the white nationalist movement, as plans will go forward to remove it.

About 40-50 white supremecists reconvened in the park, shouting their classic lines such as “You will not replace us!” and “You will not erase us!” They stayed for less than 30 minutes, boarded a tour bus and left. Authorities followed the bus to be sure they had left the city.

Unlike the disastrous events in August that left counter protester Heather Heyer dead, this protest brought no spectacle. It was organized in private, with little publicity beforehand. Instead, a relatively small group gathered in the ubiquitous khakis and chanted. Richard Spencer vowed that they would be back, and then they all left.

Mayor Mike Signer took their promise to heart. With the promise of a Charlottesville 4.0, 5.0, etc., he tweeted, “Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards. You’re not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we’re looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned.”

However, Signer may not have legal options. As Spencer told the Washington Post on Sunday, “It’s a joke. He has no authority to prevent lawful protests like what we did last night.”

Terry McAuliffe, governor of Virginia, said on Twitter, “We are monitoring this situation as we continue to oppose these racists and their message of hate.”

Opposition will be easier to manage than legal action. Unfortunately, legal experts maintain that not much can be done to prevent future protests.

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