“On August 12, 2017, the largest fascist-led rally in the United States in many decades was held in Charlottesville, Virginia. What happened shocked the country out of its complacency about how right-wing politics were unfolding under then-President Donald Trump, and foretold the years of far right violence to come. Charlottesville’s effects still reverberate today, both on those who were present and in local and national politics. And there is a direct line from that rally to the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Tactically, there is obviously no shortage of examples of the kind of violence seen at Unite the Right in the country’s history. But militant movements don’t arise out of thin air, and they almost always need to have some previous actions to motivate themselves and get everything into alignment. Charlottesville stood out because, for the first time since the turn of the century, this kind of violence was seen so brazenly at a large, far right public demonstration. What Gais called “a disavowal of traditional politics and the democratic process, combined with decentralized violence” was the door that Charlottesville opened at the beginning of Trump’s administration. January 6 was what walked through at the end.”
Read the full article at Truthout
(For those interested, the article I wrote directly after Charlottesville can be found here.)