Days after a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville ended in tragedy, the organizers are blaming the authorities for the violence.
A nationalist rally say they are planning to return to Charlottesville for a future rally and to file lawsuits against city and state authorities for allegedly failing to protect their gathering.
But first, they must cope with a psychic shock: feeling betrayed by government authorities they believed would always protect them. Before this weekend’s events, the alt-right had been a bastion of pro-police sentiment — especially when it came to police shootings of unarmed black victims and clashes with the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, the alt-right’s leaders are grappling with the realities of being identifiable members of an unpopular minority group in public.
“I have never felt like the government or police were against me,” said white nationalist leader Richard Spencer at a small news conference inside his home here on Monday afternoon. “There has never been a situation in my life when I’ve felt this way.”
Jason Kessler, the Charlottesville rally’s organizer, was also reeling. “This has changed everything,” he said. “I thought that the police would uphold constitutional law no matter what.”
Kessler claimed the city’s police failed to follow through on plans for protecting the rally that they had discussed with him. He also said that during planning for the rally, one police captain divulged to him that authorities were communicating about the event using their personal emails to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.
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