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Who demonstrated against and for what in August?
The most prominent August protests were the events at Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and 12, sparked by the city’s efforts to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. After a dramatic confrontation on the University of Virginia campus on Friday night, the Saturday protests included a smaller group of white supremacists and larger groups of counterprotesters decrying racism and bigotry. The former group included Identity Evropa, the Traditionalist Worker Party, the National Socialist Movement and Vanguard America. Members of the Three Percenters, a right-wing militia, also came to the city. Counterprotesters included clergy, progressive organizers and activists, antifa activists, and many others.
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On Aug. 12, one person drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Before the attack, the man identified by police as the car’s driver had been marching with Vanguard America.
President Trump’s response was controversial. While at times condemning white supremacy and Heyer’s death, he also expressed some sympathy for the cause, including equating the two groups of protesters (“there’s blame on both sides”). There were, he said, some “very fine people, on both sides.”
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The events at Charlottesville, as well as Trump’s response, sparked a slew of political gatherings all across the country. We counted 341 events, including vigils...
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