Charlottesville, VA will soon be enhancing its growing reputation as a magnet for political counter-culture extremism. The latest iteration is the Unite the Right! rally in the elitist progressive enclave (and home of Thomas Jefferson) set for this Saturday, August 12. According to organizers on all sides, it is shaping up to be the quintessential kids’ soccer match in Charles Murray’s tony “Belmont”: everybody is going to be a winner.
Orthodox local media is anticipating eagerly some eminently spinnable mayhem: “Some suspect that the possible violence could be the result of intentional right-wing agitation, as local activists with Solidarity Cville have recently exposed posts on social media and far-right blogs in which supporters of Unite the Right! rally seemed to revel in the possibility of violence and call on others to prepare for a fight.”
Local hoteliers, despite being called upon to “Keep Nazis out of Charlottesville Hotel Rooms!” are preparing to welcome a diverse array of organizations and animal acts, which may or may not have secured group discounts, including Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, United National Antiwar Coalition, It’s Going Down fans, a hoped-for 1000 “Faith Leaders,” the National Socialist Movement, the Aryan Nationalist Alliance, the League of the South, the Traditionalist Worker Party, and headliners such as Richard Spencer, Dr. Cornell West, internet personality Anthime “Baked Alaska” Gionet, as well as Augustus Invictus and, of course, Johnny Monoxide. Note to participants making reservations: don’t forget Defend Charlottesville’s pre and après events being scheduled for August 11 and 13.
While things are looking good for hotel business, some local restaurateurs may be intimidated by the direct action advocated by a “Religious but not spiritual, #UVA professor, #BLM activist, mom, Cuba-phile,” to interrupt the dinners of what sounds like a zombie army of racists who have “moved from Monticello to the Courthouse” and who certainly don’t deserve to enjoy the local Charlottesville delicacies like free-range kale and quinoa empanadas drizzled with habanero jam undisturbed.
Fortunately, not everyone shares the spoilsport professor’s grim relentlessness. Many are upbeat. One activist gushes:
“I’m confident this event will end up being the biggest rally we have held in the United States in over a decade… The Alt-Right will be there. Southern Nationalists will be there. White Nationalists will be there. The Alt-Lite was invited to come, but predictably backed out over race. I’ve been doing activism in the South for several years now. I usually have a feel for how many people will show up at these events, but I have never seen so much interest in one event. I’m going to have to rent a van because I have six people who want to ride with me alone. I know this event is going to be a big deal because people who I consider leaners have booked non-refundable flights and there will be convoys coming to Charlottesville from far flung states like Texas and Florida. I’m telling you to trust me on this one. You do not want to miss this event.”
The enthusiasm is truly infectious as others see Charlottesville assuming her rightful place in the vanguard of the fight against You-Know-Who himself– big time: “Charlottesville can be the blueprint for the fight against fascism and racism, the uprising of fascism that we see in this current administration.”
In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, it is necessary to note that Unite the Right! has not been completely successful in working out all differences among every Harley-riding defender of Western Civilization preparing to roar down Rt. 250 from Pantops and smite the Kulturkampf heathens like the Polish Winged Hussars at the siege of Vienna. Some local “conservative activists” are reportedly getting nervous about the event organizer’s “continued associations with far-right activists… like the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Warlocks Motorcycle Club … And now he’s associated with people involved with organized crime. It’s turning into a rabbit hole. And I want nothing to do with that.” The accusation of involvement with organized crime seems to have to do with some arcane Jesuitical dispute raging among cognoscenti over whether a biker group expected to attend is one percent or three percent organization. As the local newspaper explains, “the ‘3-percent’ label is sometimes used to describe the right-wing, constitutionalist ‘patriot movement.’ [While] ‘One-percent’ groups are generally outlaw gangs.”
Finally, the local guy organizing this thing seems also to be in need of competent back-office support. Apparently, he filed an application for one-day liability insurance coverage for the August 12 event, but the coverage has been withdrawn by the carrier because of a few oversights in the application as filed. The insurance company apparently had second thoughts about the unorthodox security plan: “the motorcycle gang [that] will be providing security for the event have been investigated by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and charged with multiple counts of murder, drug and weapons charges, and possession of stolen property.” The certificate of insurance provided to the city was altered with some standard language stricken unilaterally by the event organizer, but not cleared with the company. And finally there was a clerical error: “Under the section marked “Certificate Holder,” rather than listing the City of Charlottesville and the address of City Hall, [the organizer] made Lee Park the certificate holder and gave the physical address of the park as the address to which any notice of cancellation should be mailed. No mailbox or office exists in Lee Park, which has since been renamed, Emancipation Park.”
These minor glitches aside, Unite the Right! seems on track to provide the type cast sinister extras required to place Central Virginia’s Portland and its clownish City Council at the epicenter of the Resistance drama for at least next weekend’s news cycle. Everybody should have a great time. Now if you are planning to come, you should know this– as of now, there are provisions for only three porta-potties at Unite the Right! Whether there is enough time remaining to contract with a consultant to convene a diverse and representative coordinating committee to complete a City of Charlottesville Environmental Impact Assessment of a revised port-a-potty plan for Emancipation Park Formerly Known as Lee Park is iffy—so be forewarned.