My friend was a witness to yesterday’s white supremacist rally and terrorist attack in Virginia. They wish to remain anonymous. –M. P.
The white supremacists threw stones, bottles of piss, smoke bombs, clubs, fists.
A white woman paced the street, hand on her hip, shouting “Where are the police?” She expected police to save her from white supremacists. People of color know better.
The armored and armed police, who arrived shortly, did not stop them. Instead, the police consistently threatened the people at whom the white supremacists hurled their violence. The police allowed white supremacists to threaten and intimidate people gathered in other nearby parks, as well. A helicopter, drones, and military snipers loomed above people protesting against white supremacy, the snipers even taking occasional aim at unarmed people doing nothing more than standing in the street. Police shot pepper spray at counter-protesters, not Nazis, and I had to help a man’s friends neutralize & wash the capsaicin from his eyes. Cops hounded us throughout the city even as they allowed Nazis to freely march around with guns, clubs, and shields.
As my crew was walking up a street to answer a call for help, a white supremacist plowed his car into the crowd, hitting several people. People in my crew didn’t merely see it happen. One of the people struck by the car was with us—fortunately she was not fatally struck. Another was knocked to the ground as people tried to flee. For a few moments, people in our group thought I was the woman lying in the road. We had to do a head count even after they accounted for me, trying to find another member of our party. While we were planning our next move, hoping to find a place to shelter & attend our people in need, police in riot gear arrived to threaten us again.
As brutal as the white supremacists are, it’s crucial to note that the city & state dedicated loads of resources to support the Nazis. City & state officials condemned the white supremacists after the fact; their law enforcement agents protected and served the Nazis, not the other citizens and residents of Charlottesville & Virginia, throughout the day.
“We TOLD them ‘They are coming to kill us’ and the city gave them a permit anyway,” the woman who gave me her sofa last night told me as I was packing to leave Charlottesville today.
Pay attention to whom the police “serve & protect.”