White supremacists and neo-Nazis received the red-carpet treatment as they traveled to Washington, D.C., a move that is earning a lot of backlash from local communities and people of color.
On Sunday, Aug 12, less than two dozen neo-Nazis, led by white supremacist Jason Kessler received a private train car and a police escort as they traveled to the capital city. It should be noted this is the same group that launched the deadly Charlottesville rally exactly one year ago that resulted in the killing of32-year-old Heather Heyer, a counter-protester and paralegal.
People began posting pictures of the Vienna Metro Station in Virginia which, according to some, the white supremacists were able “hijack” along with a significant portion of the city police and other resources.
One entrance into the Vienna Metro Station in Virginia was completely closed off to the public and allowed only the “Unite the Right” rally-goers in. The racists were bundled up in a private, segregated train car and escorted through a Nazis-only entrance into Lafayette Park.
There were about a dozen U.S. Park Police on horseback and police officers dotted every five feet in the park. Law enforcement had also blocked traffic and installed metal fences in Lafayette Square to keep the rally-goers and counter-protesters separated.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) briefly considered the notion of dedicating a separate train for the white supremacists but it backed off after Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 said its member would not provide “unprecedented special accommodations for a hate group.”
“More than 80% of Local 689’s membership is people of color, the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed and violated,” the group said in a statement. “The union has declared that it will not play a role in their special accommodation.”
“There wasn’t a special train,” Deputy Chief Warren Donald of Metro Transit police said. “What the officers did, they reserved one car to keep the two groups separate … The train made stops on its route to Foggy Bottom, just as it would any other service day, so it wasn’t a special train.”
The decision to separate the neo-Nazis was a “law enforcement matter,” said a representative of WMATA.
Around 2 p.m. Kessler and other white supremacists gathered at the Vienna stations, which reportedly closed down around that time. They then waited till 3 p.m. to wait for other people to join the group. Metro Transit police told the group they could not wait for other rally-goers, citing security issues. The group then bundled up into one car.
The train stopped at one point and people attempted to get into the car with the neo-Nazis but they were told by the police to go down to the other available ones.
Donald said the private car was reserved to avoid violence between the two groups.
However, after Sunday’s rally, activists and transit workers are once again saying the exclusive train service and police response amounted to VIP treatment of the white supremacists.
Giving white supremicists & hate groups a private Metro railcar is so unbelievably wrong & disgraceful. Beyond the horrible precedent it sets, what does it tell the riding public & operators? Plus, it’s the exact opposite of what @WMATA said they’d do. https://t.co/GSw6lIXjfH— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) August 12, 2018
A Black Lives Matter protester, who identified himself as Black Soul, was understandably angry that police had the time and resources to protect neo-Nazis but were absent in Washington’s majority-black areas.
“It’s crazy how the police can come up here and protect these motherfucker racist bastards, but we got little girls and little boys getting killed in Southeast and Northeast in the inner city right there in the fucking hood, everyday snatched up,” he said. “They’re here to protect these sheet-wearing racist-ass bastards.”
Another counter-protester, Emily Patton said, “If they’re willing to come out here and espouse their hatred and oppression and call for a mass genocide to tons of our community members, they don’t deserve police protection.”
It inconceivable that a group that was responsible for taking a life of an innocent woman was not just given the go-ahead to stage another protest but is also getting exclusive security and travel accommodations at the expense of taxpayers. People were quick to note that if the group were comprised of black Americans, the situation would probably have turned tragic.
Imagine if a bunch of black folks grabbed weapons and led a march called “Unite the Left” that resulted in a black dude running over a white woman with a car, killing her. Imagine if the same black folks took that march to the White House. Would they get a permit? #UniteTheRight2— King Kush?? (@TeamSmokie) August 12, 2018
Our sniveling, cowardly, pathetic President has more to say about black athletes protesting peacefully in a stadium than white supremacists protesting right outside his damn door... #UniteTheRight2— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) August 12, 2018
Live shot from #UniteTheRight2 of organizer Jason Kessler being harvested from a Nazi bush. These invasive plants usually spring up around garbage dumps and Trump rallies.#ShutItDownDC#UnitedAgainstHate pic.twitter.com/28dQYX52g5— Charles Ryder (@CapnRyder) August 12, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson