Jun 24, 2018

Why it matters: White nationalists to head to D.C.

Jason Kessler speaking at a rally

Jason Kessler speaking at a white nationalist rally. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The National Park Service has approved an application for white nationalists to rally near the White House in August to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville's Unite the Right rally, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Despite the national outrage after the Charlottesville rallies and the following riot that left one protestor dead, the white nationalist movement has only been further emboldened over the past year.

Who they are

Jason Kessler, the organizer of the rally, wrote that the purpose of the event was to protest the "civil rights abuse" in Charlottesville and called it a "white civil rights" rally.

  • Flashback: The rally will be held exactly one year after a driver mowed into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer.

Details: Kessler organized the rally, but he didn't do it without help. Other organizers and prominent participants included:

  • Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute, "an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States and around the world."
  • Matthew Heimbach, founder of the Youth for Western Culture and the White Student Union at Towson University.
  • Mike "Enoch" Peinovich, an alt-right, anti-Semitic blogger and podcaster.
  • Tim "Baked Alaska" Gionet, a social media troll who toured with the incendiary, alt-right leader Milo Yiannopoulos last year.
  • Nathan Domingo, the founder of White Supremacist group Identity Evropa.
  • David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard.

Their opposition

As white nationalist groups have become louder and more present in America, so has the opposition fighting for equality. Many of them fall under the banner of Antifa — short for anti-fascist — and some are known to be violent themselves.

  • Showing up for Racial Justice, a group claiming "none of us can be free until we end white supremacy."
  • Anti-Racist Action, founded in 1988, is an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-discrimination group, which wants "a free classless society."
  • Rednick Revolt, a group opposing white supremacy while not claiming to be liberal.

What's going on

Organizers and other white supremacists have become emboldened in the last year despite the outrage over Charlottesville.

Opposition groups have clashed with the white nationalist groups since Charlottesville. Some of these protests have morphed into riots, leading to arrests and injuries.


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