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Four men charged with violent rioting at last year’s Unite the Right rally

Four men charged with violent rioting at last year’s Unite the Right rally

A scene from the Charlottesville candlelight vigil at UVA

Four men have been charged with violating a federal rioting law during last year’s white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Charlottesville charged the men, all part of an alleged hate group, on Tuesday (2 October). Rise Above Movement, based in California, is described as a ‘militant racist and anti-Semitic’ hate group.

FBI agents arrested the men early on Tuesday in California.

Benjamin D. Daley, 25; Thomas W. Gillen, 34; Michael P. Miselis, 29; and Cole E. White, 34, were all charged with one count each.

Authorities stated the men traveled to Charlottesville ‘with the intent to… commit violent acts in furtherance of a riot’.

Last August’s Unite the Right rally was the first big white supremacist demonstration since Donald Trump took office as the President of the United States.

Trump infamously said there were both good and bad people on ‘both sides’ during the rally. He also levied some of the blame at the ‘alt-left’ and it took him several days to specifically condemn neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

Numerous advocacy groups condemned the demonstration of white supremacists.

Justice for Heather Heyer remains in limbo

One person died at the rally when a man drove a car into a crowd of protesters — Heather Heyer.

The accused driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 21, is now awaiting trial in Virginia. He’s charged with various crimes, including first-degree murder. These carry a maximum sentence of four life terms, as well as 110 years in prison.

In June, the Justice Department charged him with various federal hate crimes. One of the hate crimes carries a possible death sentence.

During the rally, Fields carried a shield with the symbol of the white supremacist group Vanguard America. They later denied Fields was a member.

H/t: Washington Post

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