By (Guest Contributor) Pink Panther & LAMA

On August 12th Heather Heyer was killed after being run down by a Nazi during a protest in Charlottesville in the U.S state of Virginia.

When the Mayor of Charlottesville announced the intention to pull down the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee a collection of “alt-Right”, militia members, white nationalists, Confederate apologists, Ku Klux Klan members and Nazis descended upon the city in what they called a “Unite the Right” protest. This protest took place on August 11th and August 12th. During their protest they marched through the grounds of the University of Virginia chanting “White Lives Matter” and anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans like “Blood and Soil”.

This assortment of misanthropes was greeted by a counter-protest that included various religious, community and leftist groups from the National Council of Churches, Black Lives Matter, Anti-Racist Action, Redneck Revolt, Industrial Workers of the World and others. Among those counter-protesters was Heather, who had travelled with friends from Lovinston, Virginia, to take part in the action.

Due to the clashes between the racists and the anti-fascists, the “Unite the Right” protest was declared an unlawful assembly by the Mayor Michael Signer on the evening of August 11th.

At 11.00am the following morning a state of emergency was declared in Charlottesville. A hard core group of white nationalists went to a park 3 km away from where their scheduled protest was due to be held and had a protest rally where the various racist trash gathered to spew their hatred. During the rally a group of counter-protesters were run over by the Nazi in a car. Thirty-two year old Heather was killed and nineteen others were injured.

The racism, thuggery and killing of Heather was condemned by Signer. He also condemned the President of the United States Donald Trump for not only creating the environment that emboldened this scum but also for allowing them to become so influential in the White House.

On this act of terrorism Trump responded by saying he condemned “In the strongest possible terms” what he called an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.” This statement of false moral equivalency was condemned by both Republicans and Democrats in a rare display of unity.

Trump’s failure to condemn the actions of the varied white nationalist garbage, ignored the reality of events in Charlottesville. It was also noted by the New York Times (August 12th) that Trump was the only person who attributed the violence to all sides. It was alleged that Trump had been advised not to condemn the white power mob because of the fear that such condemnation would alienate his alt-right supporters.

In fact, the only people who were positive about Trump’s response was the Nazi website The Daily Stormer and David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, which speaks volumes about Trump and many of the people who support him.

Trump’s response had an immediate backlash with many key people pulling out of his American Manufacturing Council, consisting of big business CEO’s. It’s true that big business at certain times and places finds fascism a useful tool and during World War II U.S businesses collaborated with the Nazis. However at the moment in modern America there are factions among the capitalists who realise fascism and explicit racism really aren’t always in their best interests. It isn’t a good look in a multi-cultural society requiring workers from many backgrounds, to keep their system functioning. It was not lost on media commentators that while Trump was very quick to condemn those bosses who jumped ship, he took much longer to condemn the Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

It says something about the widespread condemnation of Trump’s reaction that even staunch Republicans including George H Bush, George W Bush, Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz either condemned Trump’s moral cowardice or the racist violence in Charlottesville.

Instead of being more forthright in his condemnation of the Nazis and alt-right or offering any genuine sympathy for Heather and her family Trump went on a rant about the mainstream media!

While Trump has again shown just how much of a racist he really is GoDaddy and YouTube kicked The Daily Stormer off their sites for breaching their Terms of Service. Other social media websites, including Facebook, have now announced they are going to take action against racist extremists.

While the reactions from some sections of corporate America are more positively responsive, it must not be forgotten that social media and corporate America played a major part in empowering the alt-right and the Nazis in the first place. Where were all these people now condemning the behaviour of the Nazis in Charlottesville back in 2016 when an openly xenophobic Donald Trump was vomiting forth his drivel (from day one of his campaign!) and whipping up these groups? We really have to be careful in separating out the reasons different organisations may happen to align on an issue, and this is one example.

While Trump himself isn’t a fascist, he opened the Pandora’s Box of Nazi hate and emboldened them to the point they thought they could get away with anything. However, we are only lying to ourselves if we think that Trump alone is to blame. The USA was founded on slavery and genocide and has been bitterly divided economically, politically, socially and racially for decades and Trump exploited these divisions to catapult himself into the White House.

Now people are starting to wake up to that and, if one good thing has come out of the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” march, it is that it has unified ordinary working people against the Nazis and alt-right, to a wider degree than before.

Some have remarked that Heather was obsessed with fighting social and racial injustices to the extent she drove everyone to distraction, both personally and professionally, but she did something that few of her critics did. She stood up for what she believed in, travelled to Charlottesville to defend those beliefs and was killed by a Nazi scumbag for doing the right thing.

We end this article with a comment from an unexpected source. It’s from a guy called Brad on a fan site for the cartoon, Kim Possible:
“Anti-Fascist” shouldn’t be a movement or a group. It should be your default state. You’re SUPPOSED to be anti-fascist.
“It shouldn’t be ‘Nazis clashed with Anti-fascists’. It should be ‘Nazis clashed with people, because people are supposed to fucking clash with Nazis.”

We don’t know who Brad is, but he said the most intelligent comment we have heard since the people of Charlottesville were terrorised and Heather lost her life.

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