Date of publication: 2018-01-13 04:10
Confusion swept over the crowd as many wondered if they should leave as ordered, or stand up against a clear violation of their Constitutional and Civil Rights. As most of the crowd began filing out of the park, Nathan Damigo, Founder and Leader of Identity Evropa, stayed and was arrested for refusing to follow an unlawful order that violated the federal court’s injunction. However, he was soon after released, taking to Twitter to let his followers and supporters know of his illegal arrest.
The organizer, Jason Kessler, blamed the city of Charlottesville for first providing inadequate security and then declaring an unlawful assembly before the rally could proceed, taking no responsibility for the violence. Now, some of the white supremacists involved are crowdsourcing a lawsuit against the city for allegedly violating their civil rights.
“The idea is that ‘people are threatening violence towards you’ is not a lawful basis to tell someone to shut up and leave,” White said. “So, if the Nazis could prove that the cops did basically endorse a heckler’s veto, they could have a claim.”
The crowdsourcing campaign is being organized by Nathan Damigo, founder of supremacist group Identity Evropa, with the aid of lawyer Kyle Bristow, another avowed racist.
“Juries don’t like Nazis,” White said, noting widespread evidence that Unite the Right attendees deliberately instigated violence “suggests they are lying. And in general I am not inclined to take Nazis at their word.”
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Attorney Ken White, who blogs under the nom de guerre Popehat on issues including free speech laws , told Gizmodo it would not be “impossible” for Damigo to have a valid claim that police violated his First Amendment rights if it was determined authorities improperly declared an unlawful assembly.
“What the caselaw provides is that they can’t just refuse to protect them from hecklers and then shut them down on the grounds that they’re being threatened,” White said.
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