Trump’s most loyal followers

Trump's most loyal followers

by digby

Those are shots of the white supremacist torch parade in Charlottesville last night. They surrounded a small group of counter protesters and maced them and hit them with their torches.

Soon, scuffles broke out inside the circle of torches, between the rotunda and the statue. One of the white nationalist protesters threw a torch into the circle, and another apparently sprayed the student counter-protesters with mace.

Ali, a counter-protester who asked that ThinkProgress not identify him further out of fear of retaliation, said he saw pushing and then saw a tiki torch thrown.

“At that point, I felt mace in my eyes and knew that I had to break the line,” he said in an interview. “So I ran.”

There was no visible police presence with the hundreds-strong white nationalist march, and the scene was extremely tense. A ThinkProgress reporter exited through the circle of white nationalists when the fighting broke out. Several, one wearing a sidearm, followed after him demanding to know his identity. They relented when he showed them his press credentials.

“In seemed like it was about to happen,” Ali said of the tense scene before scuffles broke out. “They were hinting violence.”

Shortly after the fighting broke out, organizers of the march demanded that their fellow protesters put out their torches. Protesters then surrounded the Jefferson statue as they forced the student counter-protesters away and off to one side. Not long after, a handful of police officers came on the scene and ordered the crowd to disperse. “This is over,” an officer told the protesters.

There was a lull as the white nationalist protesters disbanded and the student counter-protesters tended to members who’d been sprayed with mace. At one point, officers consulted with street medics caring for the injured counter-protesters and told them EMTs were on the way, while a small group stood to one side holding their banner and chanting “black lives matter.”

Soon, however, a line of Charlottesville police officers, aided by a handful of Virginia State Police officers, swept through the area with their batons in hand to clear out the lingering counter-protesters, street medics, legal observers, and media.

“If you stay, you’ll be arrested,” one officer said as the line prepared to make its sweep. “Press too.”

The full neo-fascist, white nationalist alt-right contingent is in Charlottesville today. Lovely people, all of them.

What with a lunatic in the White House and white supremacists marching in the streets it makes you very proud to be an American right now.