All of the mainstream coverage of the Unite the Right (UTR) rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, almost without exception paints a very Manichean picture of the violence which took place during the two-day long event which took place from August 11 to August 12, 2017 and occurred primarily between self styled “white-advocates,” white nationalists and various right-wing supporters and sympathizers and antifa agitators, ecumenical clergy persons and various LGBT and Black Lives Matter (BLM) associates.
The Cville United The Right rally was a enlarged follow-up to the May 15, 2017 right-wing protest of the prospective take-down of the Charlottesville Robert E. Lee statue. On June 13, 2017 the event’s organizer, Jason Kessler, obtained a permit for another prospective event, tentatively titled Unite The Right. The city of Charlottesville shortly thereafter revoked the permit in clear violation of the organizer’s collective First Amendment Rights (even Tim “muppet” Kaine support their right to freedom of speech!). UTR organizers took the issue to court and obtained a reinstatement of their permit.
On the 11th of August the Unite the Right event officially began and received instant attention for the hundreds of white marches carrying, of all things, tiki torches (probably due to the need to conform to some anti-open-flame ordinance). Full blown street brawls occurred the next day between white nationalists and antifa protestors and police were called in to break it up. The same thing occurred the next day only the violence was magnified. Numerous injuries resulted with 3 ending in fatalities (one from a driver identified as 20 yr old James A. Fields, who plowed a Dodge Challenger into a crowd of protesters and another from a helicopter crash in which two Virginia state troopers died).
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said of the UTR marchers, “You came here to hurt people, and you did hurt people.” Joe Biden noted that “There is only one side!” and, according to him, it was the antifa side, everyone else was scum, apparently. Melania Trump had, arguably the most sensible thing to say about the whole affair, milquetoast as it was; she said, “Out country encourages freedom of speech but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.” The state’s AG, Mark Herring stated firmly that, “-violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of ‘many sides.’ It is racists and white supremacists.” President Donald J. Trump was one of the only (certainly the only one I have heard at this time) to stated that there was hatred and violence on “many sides.” This comment was wholly insufficient to please the establishment political parties or the mainstream media which firmly placed the blame for the affair upon the perennially nebulous, “White Supremacy.” Watching any given news channel all one sees are a handful of people seig-heiling and waving swastikas yet these “neo-nazis” accounted for only around 30 out of the hundreds upon hundreds of different people in attendance (here one is reminded of the 2016 NPI “nazi salute” incident wherein at least one of the “nazis” was a ironic prankster of Jewish extraction, additionally, several channels manipulated video coverage of the event to show a single individual from multiple, obscured angles to make it appear as if the handful of people doing the Roman Salute were double or triple-fold).
A close inspection of the numerous pieces of video footage taken at the event show that the police, almost from the get-go, had absolutely no intention of doing their duty in maintaining public order and allowing the rally to properly commence. Instead, one can see agents of the state pushing UTR marches out of their designated zones and into the waiting arms of antifa radicals, over and over again. This despite the permit which allowed the UTR attendees to lawfully assemble. One must ask the question: cui bono? Who benefits? Who benefits from the police standing by and letting violence break out? Who profits from the chaos? Certainly not the UTR members – for them, this was a aesthetic catastrophe, a PR nightmare. The “alt-right” nor any of the broader dissident right, does not in the slightest benefit from the chaos that occurred. But there is a segment of the political populace that did – The anti-Bannon crowd.
The NAACP (National Association For the Advancement of Colored Peoples) instantly took to Twitter to leverage the event against the Trump Administration. Their statement read: “We call on the President to take the steps to remove Steve Bannon – well-known white supremacist leader – from his team of advisers.” Well known political blogger and self-styled “Friend of Israel,” Jennifer Rubin echoed the NAACP’s sentiments stating that, “Its time to get rid of the statues and the alt-right heroes [a clear reference to Bannon whose statement about Breitbart being a “platform for the alt-right garnered much scorn] in the White House.”
I am not generally in the habit of forming such theories but what occurred in Charlottesville bears all the hallmarks of what appears to be a loosely coordinated attempted by anti-Bannon activists to oust him, utilized the UTR rally as an opening.
Both Dr. David Duke and NPI’s Richard Spencer, well known right-wing figures who were in attendance at the rally have stated that they will return and that Charlottesville should expect more demonstrations in the future. This strikes me as profoundly unwise for numerous reasons, the first and foremost being that it will only continue to sully their reputation and the reputations of their followers who the mainstream media (and large swaths of the independent “new” media) will continue to paint as psychotic “white supremacists” and the whole long, seemingly endless slew of banal and ludicrous epitaphs. Trump has taken a even keel approach, condemning only the widespread violence and not going into many particulars about those who spread it but rest assured that if he is well-pressured he’ll have no problem throwing his base under the bus to maintain good-standing and dispense with any talk of him being one of the previously mentioned slurs. This is important, for if Trump throws the alt-right and broader dissident right nationalists under the bus the alt-liters and “Trumpists” – those “color-blind” Trump supporters will turn upon them with ever more ferocity. The Unite The Righters are profoundly outnumbered and outgunned, even if they were in the right, their “optics” are to poor to muster up much popular support. Upon returning to Cville they stand to gain nothing and lose everything – even if they were, generally speaking, in the right.
The alt-right’s mistake (one of many and one they continue to make) was that believed the police and magistrates would side with them if they followed the rules. This is naive.
The enemy, as it were, must not be engaged head-on when one is hopelessly outnumbered. Napoleon knew this well enough. Different tactics must be formulated. Tactics of parallel institutionalism. Begin building independent underground structures that achieve such coherence and magnitude that you no longer require a magistrates go-ahead. In this way one would make protesting largely irrelevant. it is the longer and more arduous path but one which strikes me as the considerably more tactically cogent one.