A $3 million lawsuit has been filed against Jason Fields — the driver of the car who murdered one woman and injured 19 others — as well as the organizers of the neo-Nazi white supremacy protests in Charlottesville. Who exactly were the organizers of the Charlottesville protests and how did they become filled with a disgusting, hate-driven ideology?
Here are five things you need to know about the Charlottesville organizers:
1. The organizer, Jason Kessler, used to be an Occupy Wall Street activist and supporter of Barack Obama. The Daily Wire's James Barrett reported that a woman recently approached Kessler and talked to him about his prior involvement in the Occupy movement, which made Kessler uncomfortable. Barrett also cited a Rightwing News' report that Kessler was paid $1,320 for consulting a Senate Democratic candidate in 2012 and held a myriad of left-wing positions, including his support of abortion and leftist environmentalist policies as well as his opposition to hawkish foreign policy positions. Kessler became an odious alt-righter after he witnessed the massive outrage over a woman tweeting, "Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!"
2. Kessler first entered the public spotlight when he attempted to drive out Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy from his position. Kessler was infuriated by Bellamy's call to take down the Robert E. Lee monument; he unearthed a series of crude and offensive tweets from Bellamy, including phrases like "little white men" and "beanpole body white women." Bellamy did apologize for those tweets, but Kessler still tried to unseat him through a petition. His efforts failed, and during his crusade for signatures "Kessler punched a guy in the face," according to Barrett.
3. Kessler founded an organization called Unity and Security for America and organized a previous white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. Unity and Security for America champions itself as a supporter of hawkish immigration policies and an "American First" foreign policy in order to preserve Western Civilization. As a blogger, Kessler has written for the alt-right website VDARE and has even had his byline featured in The Daily Caller, which severed ties with him once they learned of his white nationalist activism. Kessler has written frequently about the leftist crusade against Confederate statutes and champions himself as "pro-white" while claiming he's not a white supremacist.
Kessler was also the organizer of the white nationalist Charlottesville rally in May protesting the removal of the Lee statute. He was arrested for refusing to obey the demands of a police officer.
4. Kessler blamed the violence during this past weekend's Charlottesville protests on the police. Kessler tweeted that the "police refused to separate" violent individuals and "even pushed the feuding groups together." Business Insider noted that there was nothing to substantiate the latter claim, although there has been criticism of "the police department's late response to breaking up the violence."
5. The lawsuit names Richard Spencer as someone who helped organize the Charlottesville protests. Spencer, of course, is the alt-right leader who wants a pure white ethno-state and has refused to condemn Adolf Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan.
Other organizations involved in organizing the Charlottesville protest are a cabal of white supremacist groups: (H/T: ABC News)
Several other people whom the lawsuit claims organized and promoted the Unite the Right rally — including former Ku Klux Klanimperial wizard David Duke — and organizations such as the Traditionalist Worker Party, the League of the South, Vanguard America, The Nationalist Front, National Policy Institute, the Council of Conservative Citizens, AltRight.com, American Freedom Keepers were also named in the lawsuit for allegedly inciting violence that day.