How Militias Became the Private Police for White Supremacists Magazine
Guns to a protest? Clubs? We can not tolerate anti American militias.
The bloody weekend in Charlottesville that began with several hundred chanting white supremacists on a torch-lit march will long be remembered for the searing image of a growling muscle car plowing through a defenseless crowd of counter-protesters.
But there was another moment from the weekend that revealed a potentially more consequential truth about the long-term impact of the “Unite the Right” rally.
Not long after James Fields—a white nationalist who had posted an image of Donald Trump as king on his Facebook account—allegedly killed Heather Heyer with his Dodge Challenger, protesters linked arms along one of Charlottesville’s sidewalks. Three feet away, a line of men stood in camo pants and tactical vests, all carrying long rifles. The men were not police, whose job was to prevent violent confrontations but who largely stood to the side during the melee. They were militia-men, who had gathered in Charlottesville to act, as one expert on anti-government extremism said, as a “third force”—as a peace-keeping buffer, in theory, between far-right agitators and their opponents.