Charlottesville sues to prevent future neo-Nazi rallies

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 11:33:44 PM. The Charlottesville City Council sued Thursday to try to block white supremacists from returning to the city for future rallies, arguing they constitute a private army and can be denied entry.

The Charlottesville City Council sued Thursday to try to block white supremacists from returning to the city for future rallies, arguing they constitute a private army and can be denied entry.

Georgetown Law and local business and community groups are also part of the lawsuit, saying clashes during an August rally — which left one counterprotester dead from a car attack, and two state police troopers dead after a helicopter crash — turned the city into a “military theater.”

The lawsuit, filed exactly two months after the rally, asks a state court to issue an injunction against right-wing protesters to prevent their return.

“Virginia law clearly reflects the American tradition that private armies are anathema to a well-organized society,” said Mary McCord, senior litigator for Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection. “Our complaint shows that there are legal tools available to ensure that the streets do not become battlefields for those who organize and engage in paramilitary activity.”

The August rally, which involved white supremacists, neo-Nazis and “alt-right” sympathizers, was spurred by a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee which stands in a city park, and which the city has been trying to tear down. A legal battle over the statue has been raging for months.

But the rally, in which some of the white supremacists carried firearms and other weapons, drew a mass of counterprotesters. Police were unable to control their interactions, and in the aftermath, authorities say, one of the white supremacists plowed his car into a group of counterprotesters, killing one woman.

The new lawsuit says David Duke, a former senior Ku Klux Klan official, and Richard Spencer, a prominent alt-right figure, vowed in August to return to Charlottesville. Mr. Spencer has, in fact, held another rally earlier this month.

Named as defendants are a number of self-described militias, and several individuals alleged to be leaders of those groups.

The lawsuit says private armies are illegal and the “Unite the Right” organizers, who appeared in uniforms carrying weapons, were “private military forces” which “transformed an idyllic college town into a virtual combat zone.”

“Virginia law has long recognized the threat to civil order and public safety posed by organized groups prepared to use force outside the careful strictures of the Commonwealth’s supervision,” the complaint reads, citing the Virginia Constitution.

In addition to blocking the groups’ return, the lawsuit asks a court to declare them illegal and dangerous militias whose firearms and weapons training amounts to a danger to public safety.

Charlottesville City Council voted Thursday morning to join the lawsuit.

“The laws regulating civilian militias were put in place by our forebears for a crucial purpose,” said Michael Signer, Charlottesville’s mayor. “What Charlottesville saw the weekend of August 12 were armed organizations parading their violence in public and attacking citizens. Such a blatant assault on democratic government itself may be integral to today’s ‘alt-right’ movement, but it cannot be allowed to continue.”

HIDE COMMENTS

blog comments powered by Disqus

Click to Read More

Click to Hide

Top Stories

In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, people affected by Hurricane Maria bathe in water piped in from a mountain creek, in Naranjito, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

Trump warns Puerto Rico that emergency services cannot remain indefinitely

President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform during an event at the Harrisburg International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Middletown, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Writer of Trump’s Russia dossier slapped with congressional subpoena

obj.0.content_object.caption

Quiz: US Citizenship Test - Could You Pass?

George Ciccariello-Maher, associate professor of political science at Drexel University, tweeted on Dec. 25, 2016, that he wished for a "white genocide." (MSNBC screenshot)

Drexel professor George Ciccariello-Maher placed on leave after Las Vegas tweets

D.C. officials expect an increase in the number of people seeking permits to carry after deciding last week not to appeal a federal circuit court ruling striking down the "good reason" requirement that severely limited who was able to obtain a concealed-carry permit. (Associated Press/File)

D.C. officials defend gun laws, look to further tighten concealed-carry rules

obj.0.content_object.caption

Quiz: Test Your Civil War Knowledge

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) sacks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second quarter of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

NFL player predicts ‘uproar’ if players ordered to stand for national anthem

First lady Michelle Obama hosted Harvey Weinstein at the White House in 2013 for a workshop for students interested in the film industry. "I want to start by thanking Harvey Weinstein for organizing this amazing day," Mrs. Obama said at the time. "This is possible because of Harvey. He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse." (Associated Press)

‘Disgusted’ Obamas were star-struck by Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s access, cash

CNN'S Jake Tapper holds up a copy of the U.S. Constitution while admonishing President Trump on Oct. 11, 2017. (Image: CNN screenshot)

Jake Tapper taunts Trump with Constitution prop after ‘Fake @NBCNews’ attack

A U.S. Capitol Police Officer checks a car at a security checkpoint at the U.S. Capitol Building after last week's car chase that ended in a shootout at 1st Street and Constitution Ave. NE in front of the Hart Office Building, Washington, D.C., Monday, October 7, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

How a ‘baffling’ backdoor D.C. gun ban thwarts concealed-carry permit holders

ap090421032401_primary_image.jpg

Conservatives in Hollywood: Celebrities who lean right

Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal tarnishes Hollywood, Democratic Party

In this Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz. Dallas owner Jerry Jones said the NFL can't leave the impression that it tolerates players disrespecting the flag and that any of his Cowboys making such displays won't play. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

ESPN host compares Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to a slave owner

converted 1911.jpg

21 best guns for home protection

This Feb. 23, 2017, file photo, Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, speaks to the Utah Senate, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Rep. Mia Love slams Michelle Obama’s ‘divisive’ GOP comments: ‘I am not white and I am not a male’

President Donald Trump poses for a portrait in the Oval Office in Washington in this Friday, April 21, 2017, file photo. Trump will mark the end of his first 100 days in office with a flurry of executive orders as he looks to fulfill campaign promises and rack up victories ahead of that milestone. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In light of Trump’s IQ challenge, who is the smartest president? Researchers have an idea

AP26539704575

Christians in Hollywood

A "bump" stock is displayed next to a disassembled .22-caliber rifle at North Raleigh Guns in Raleigh, North Carolina, Feb. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Allen Breed) ** FILE **

YouTube changes rules for firearms videos in response to Las Vegas massacre

Newsletters

  •  Daily
  •  Weekly
  •  Pruden on Politics
  •  Charles Hurt

Find us on Facebook

Find us on Twitter

All site contents © Copyright 2017 The Washington Times, LLC|3600 New York Avenue NE | Washington, DC 20002 |202-636-3000
...Read more
Share this

You might also like

Similar