Driver caught on tape backing up near a crowd of counter-protesters during an alt-right rally was later arrested. At least two others were also taken into custody.
A shocking incident involving people driving into counter-protesters during a Vancouver, Washington, rally appears to have been ignored by most of the media.
The right-wing group Patriot Prayer held a rally in Vancouver this past Sunday, which was met by counter-protesters. At some point, a vehicle carrying a Confederate flag decal and playing the Confederate battle song “Dixie” using an airhorn started reversing very close to the crowd.
Later, a motorcyclist tore off his protective gear and allegedly headed for counter-protesters as well.
A third car was allegedly spotted traveling dangerously close to protesters, but no incidents were reported.
At least three people were arrested during the rally, including the two people responsible for the car and the motorcycle driving into the crowd.
Unlike the Charlottesville, Virginia, incident, in which Heather Heyer died after James Alex Fields Jr. drove his vehicle into a crowd, nobody was seriously or fatally hurt in Washington. Still, these two violent incidents have been described as yet another example of how far many people who identify as “alt-right” can go in order to target counter-protesters.
The rally started Saturday in Portland, Oregon, where Patriot Prayer members were outnumbered by anti-racism counter-protesters. Eventually, the group relocated the event to Vancouver the next day.
Having held rallies in traditionally liberal cities, Patriot Prayer is a group led by Joey Gibson that hopes to “provoke a violent response from far-left antifascists,” the Southern Poverty Law Center has claimed. Patriot Prayer claims to be an “anti-government” group.
While fortunately, this rally did not end in any serious injuries, undoubtedly these events will continue to pop up across the country as white nationalists feel emboldened to express their views under a Donald Trump presidency. Not only do these white supremacists feel safe to protest, but use these rallies as opportunities to instigate violence and create mass chaos. Since Trump refuses to assertively condemn white supremacy and stop sympathizing with neo-Nazis, then counter-protesters must be the ones to drive out these hateful voices.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Amr Alfiky