Charlottesville: the tragedy of the happiest cities in the United States
Clashes nationalists with the anti-fascists in Charlottesville brought chaos to the streets of the city. One woman died and 19 others were injured in the result of a collision of a car into a group of activists protesting against the March of the Alt-right. Correspondent Bi-bi-si versed in what is happening in the city.
Saturday in the Park Release in the city of Charlottesville two girls — one white, the other black — hold tight to the hand, grasping the free hand behind the metal barrier in front of him.
A few meters from there is the white boy in dark glasses with a shaved bald head. “You’re going home on the first **** the boat” — he shouts the black girl then turns to white. — “Well, and you’ll go straight to hell.” Then throws his arm in a Nazi salute.
For the third time in a few months white nationalists have gathered in a small, predominantly liberal town of Charlottesville, Virginia, during the civil war in USA was the capital of the enterprises of the southern States, to protest against the impending demolition of the monument to General Robert E. Lee, who commanded the confederates.
This time they came under the banner of “Alt-right” on the March called “Unite the right”. Gathered quite a motley crowd of so-called militia, racists, neo-Nazis and those who claim that he just wants to protect the history of the southern States and America as a whole.
They gathered early in the morning in the Park of Liberation, until recently, bearing the name General Lee’s, where his statue is.
Some of those who came were dressed in military uniforms and openly carry firearms. Other protesters were dressed in black shirts, helmets and army boots.
They went to the Park column. To meet them came a crowd of anti-fascists and activists of leftist movements, aiming to disrupt the action of their opponents.
In the course went batons and fists. The protesters then blocked the entrance to the Park boards. Inside him the former head of the “Ku Klux Klan” David Duke with a satisfied smile greeted the crowd, the majority of which were white men. The audience responded with glee, chanting his name and throwing his hands in the Nazi salute.
They had reason for joy. The first time in decades white nationalists come together in such numbers.
Sitting in a Park, enclosed with iron barriers, they shouted anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and racist slogans, looking for views in the ranks surrounding them with the participants of counter-actions of women and calling them backstabbers who need to rein in.
In the Park anti-fascists threw in a nationalists ‘ bottles and stones, chanting: “Off our streets, Nazi scum!” In the air hung the smell of pepper gas that sprayed to both sides.
Ultimately, in the Park and in adjacent streets there were the police unit of special purpose, began to drive away everyone who was there.
The Governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency and abolished the March. The us national guard under began to seal off the area, but this time into the crowd of those who opposed the right-wing rally, drove the car, crushed to death the woman and wounding 19 people.
24 hours before svyashenniy Brenda brown-Grooms, his eyes closed, began to pray for peace. Sitting in a room of the memorial Church of St. Paul, his hometown, she was getting ready for the events of the upcoming day. At the same time, in the next room, volunteers were training in the “nonviolent resistance” of tomorrow’s demonstration.
“This is a very beautiful place, I always thought he was a model of how it should look like the city. But I always understood that this beautiful city in places and also quite ugly. A monument to [the General Lee] became the center of this ugliness,” said she.
Brenda brown-Grooms was born in Charlottesville in 1955. She grew up in vinegar hill — “black” area, which was subsequently demolished in the framework of the renovation program, and its inhabitants resettled in other urban areas.
Her childhood had at the time of segregation, when she dared not to appear in “white” neighborhoods — in particular, where is the Liberation Park (then called Park). And she was not there, never up to may this year, when the city came representatives of the “Ku Klux Klan” to protect the monument from demolition and lit beneath the torches.
“Summer here in Charlottesville, has become one uninterrupted prayer. Today we pray again. We pray that the Alt-right don’t get something started today, on the eve of his March,” she said.
A few hours later it became clear that her prayers were not heard. Approximately 200 white nationalists gathered after sunset in one of the city parks not far from her Church, and marched with lighted torches to the campus of the University of Virginia. On the way, they chanted racist slogans.
At the foot of the monument to Thomas Jefferson they have clashed with University students, gathered there to prevent the rally of nationalists. From fire torches, the air was tense and the smoke corroded eyes.