Charlottesville, as many of our readers know is the home of AC2 News. We have chosen not to say much on the events of last August and that will continue to be the case. But I will say that Charlottesville is doing quite well, and it is still the beautiful academic/wine/music town it’s long been.
I have attached my initial video report from August 12th below.
(From The USA Today)
When violence first broke out, according to two witnesses Chief Thomas reportedly said “let them fight, it will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.”
When the police finally decided to shut the rally down, they did it in a way that forced the protesters and counterprotesters into each other, instead of separating them, making violence far more likely. Meanwhile police who could have deescalated the violence stood aside.
“This represents a failure of one of government’s core functions — the protection of fundamental rights,” Heaphy wrote. “Law enforcement also failed to maintain order and protect citizens from harm, injury and death.”
Well, that’s supposed to be law enforcement’s job. But, as Robert Shibley wrote in these pages shortly after the event, law enforcement has been doing a terrible job of managing protests all over the country: From protests that shut down speakers at Berkeley, to mob attacks on Trump supporters in Chicago where the police stood by, law enforcement has all too often failed to protect people trying to speak freely from being silenced by force, and often injured.
It wasn’t that bad everywhere. At a similar event in my own hometown of Knoxville, the Knoxville Police Department mounted a huge presence, kept the protesters and counterprotesters separated, and banned sticks, bats and other weapons in the protest area. It went off peacefully.
But things were particularly bad in Charlottesville, where both sides, as Shibley noted, reported that the police weren’t doing their jobs: “The organizer of the ‘Unite the Right’ rally complained that ‘police purposefully created the catastrophe that led to a melee in the streets of Charlottesville,’ while a Black Lives Matter leader attending the counter-protest remarked, ‘It’s almost as if they wanted us to fight each other.’”