Armed Leftists in Charlottesville

To those who questioned whether any of those who protested against the Nazis and bigots came “loaded for bear,” here are two photos taken by a friend of mine who was in Charlottesville during the troubles. His commentary:

This “militia” was on the anti-fascist side, I’m sad to report.

While the Nazis/KKK had many groups prowling the streets, these were the only leftists I saw similarly armed.

They told me not to film them & to move on, both “requests” which I ignored & got into a heated argument with one of them: the young lady among them (2nd picture left) intervened & separated us.

Left or right, carrying an assault weapon in public is an act of terrorism as far as I’m concerned.

I’m amazed that somebody didn’t start firing, which would have made the murder by car episode seem trivial by comparison.



The Rightists also came armed, of course, and you can see those pictures here. But nobody protesting fascism or racism should be carrying weapons, much less ASSAULT RIFLES. This is just asking for trouble, or advertising that you’ll make it.

The “good” news is that “our” side had fewer guns, but that’s not a lot of consolation, as some of them had mace and sticks.


  1. GBJames
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink


  2. Phil Rounds
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who showed up with weapons of any kind should have been turned away by law enforcement.
    It is inexcusable that the authorities allowed armed civilians on either side to come to this demonstration.

    • Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, they were allowed to carry “long guns”: see the gun laws of Virginia here. You can’t prohibit them just because there’s a demonstration. This is why we need to get rid of these stupid “carry” laws.

      • Phil Rounds
        Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        You have to get a permit for a demonstration. Why not make that a condition? How stupid is it to allow two violently opposed factions to face off with weapons at hand?

        • Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          Antifa didn’t bother to pull a permit.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        If it is true that this carry law absolutely allows a person to carry weapons at an authorized march or demonstration I would be very surprised. Rules and restrictions are normally prescribed for permission to demonstrate or hold a rally. To allow such a thing is insane. Gun laws do have limits of all kinds.

        • Craw
          Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          Even if gun laws have limits they still need to be enforced. The police stood down.

          • Randy schenck
            Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            I would recommend that anyone who wants to bother to check….just look at Chicago as an example if you want to protest there. On the web, Occupy Peace, where you can protest in Chicago and How. You will find all kinds of rules and regulations including No weapons, No drugs, No Alcohol. You will also see noise restrictions and all kind of requirement for your free speech practices.

            • rickflick
              Posted August 14, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

              Sounds like Scandinavia! We’re doomed!

            • Alric
              Posted August 14, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

              Protesting by hate groups will probably not be allowed in Illinois.



              • Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

                That’s just a bit of demagoguery.

                And no, labeling a group a “terrorist org” (not “hate group” btw) just because you don’t agree with them, when they don’t match the definition of one, is not good.

              • Alric
                Posted August 14, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

                Pretty sure Nazis are the definition.

              • Posted August 15, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

                Pretty sure the holding any ideology, in & of itself, is not the legal definition of a “terrorist group.”

        • somer
          Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          I would hope so – otherwise how can you have law and order at any demonstration and/or counterdemonstration and how can you have effective free speech

      • somer
        Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        such laws are ultimately a threat to democracy not to mention decency

    • eric
      Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I can see there may be some exceptions (if it’s a 2nd amendment protest march, ‘the media is the message’ so to speak).

      But in general I agree; I don’t think freedom to speak ones’ ideology in a march is censured or reduced if the state imposes some reasonable limitations on the manner of ‘marching while carrying my gun.’

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Just look around. Can you carry your AK-47 to a football game. How about a baseball game or golf match. Maybe a tennis match? People have let these gun laws scare them into imagining you could take your gun to the public swimming pool for an afternoon with the kiddies.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I don’t recall Donald Trump — who claims to be the biggest supporter of the Second Amendment ever, and who says there’s no sweeter sight than that of bullets heading back at a bad guy — making many appearances where open carry is permitted. Pretty sure most of his indoor public appearances take place behind magnetometer screening.

          • DaveP
            Posted August 15, 2017 at 4:28 am | Permalink

            Including his speech at the NRA convention in Atlanta.

        • eric
          Posted August 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Those are privately held events. The first amendment protects your right to assemble in public and petition the government, so taking away someone’s gun while they do it doesn’t fall under the same sort of legal situation. You don’t have the freedom to carry a gun at a football game for the same reason you don’t have the freedom to carry a gun in my house: because the owner says so. But I can’t stop you from talking on the street, or assembling, or (normally) take away your 2nd amendment rights if you aren’t on my property.

          I’d see a big rally with two groups very emotionally opposed to each other and a history of violence to be more like a public airport; despite it normally being a ‘public space,’ the government has a compelling safety reason to regulate some rights when you use it.

  3. Ugo
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    sorry for the dumb question but, how do you identify them as “leftists”?

    • Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I asked my friend who took the photo. He answered in several paras on FB:

      I accused one of being a Nazi & they said they were there to protect the Black Lives Matter protesters & we got into an argument about the Virginia Constitution & the right to bear arms, whether I was to take their photos, or move on & such. It got pretty hot & the young lady separated us, evidently that was her role with the group, to defuse situations

      We had an “argument” as well, but it was civil: I allowed as packing firearms was insane & keeping order was law enforcements job

      My assumption was that they were a KKK or Nazi group, but they were on the side of the road with the Black Lives Matter group & by then law enforcement had wised up & were in the street, mostly focused on the Black Lives Matter group, but also keeping an eye on the other side of the road.


      I was able to cross over, but I don’t expect the cops would have let any of the armed Nazis do so, a wise move

  4. yazikus
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Left or right, carrying an assault weapon in public is an act of terrorism as far as I’m concerned.

    Open carry laws say otherwise. It is an unfair double standard to allow only one side of the political spectrum to exercise their second amendment rights.

    • Posted August 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      And nobody wants to be the one who takes a knife to a gunfight.

    • Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m much discouraged by the propensity to flippantly redefine distinct legal terms just because: Feelz.

  5. Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Angry Young Men with Toys: Same problem, different ideologies.

    Seattle handled their protests with barricades and police barriers. Anti-fa ‘unnamed’ organizers decried police actions as “a disgrace… their job is not to protect Nazis!” says the organizer who forgets the purpose of the police.

    Seems the rally wasn’t even held by white supremacists but rather a pro-Trump group called “Patriot Prayer”. While admittedly conservative and probably not saying things that the leftists like to hear, the leader Joey Gibson took pains to denounce white supremacy and called the vehicular homicide in Charlottesville an act of “terrorism”, which is more than can be said for the president they are so supportive of. And yet, the leftists stomp their feet and call them fascists and Nazi’s, ready to fight and even charging the police line to start trouble, with some throwing rocks and fireworks at police.

    While there were mostly peaceful counter-protesters with otherwise relevant messages, these violent types get all the news on the right with their tantrums interlaced with videos of peaceful protests. Thus, the narrative on the right is that liberal protesters are out of control and you should come ready to protect yourself, which, is, of course, the same message being blasted on the left causing militant elements on that side to up their game with more semi-automatic weapons.

    This is how Charlottesville should have been handled by police, and probably prevented some serious escalation that would have left several very clearly NON-Nazis punched in the face because, well, in the ideological purity zone, if you’re not just like me, you must be a Nazi and I have every right and even the moral imperative to cause you harm, because F&%# YOU I’M ANGRY!

    While the “alt-right” needs to distance themselves and even denounce their racists and supremacists, the “ctrl-left” needs to be clear in marginalizing Nazi-punchers and liberals who think it prudent to bring a gun to an idea fight. Then, maybe, just maybe, the globular center of disparate opinions, yet remarkably similar values might come together and build solutions rather than simply pointing fingers at each other’s extremists.

  6. Craw
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Just as a matter of tactics, it’s better to leave the neo-nazis alone.

    First, there really aren’t that many of them. It’s easy to see that when they are alone.

    Second, it’s easier to mock them when there isn’t a hullabaloo. Mockery requires a certain dispassion. And mockery is a deadly tool against raging fools.

    Third, it’s less likely to backfire. Getting violent won’t hurt them, it will only hurt you, so why risk it. The high road is easier to take if you stay well clear of the low.

    • W.Benson
      Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I buy that, except that I think that a neo-Nutzi arrested and in jail for violence is good press for liberalism, and may even be monetarily advantageous for the person attacked.

      • Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        What? “Monetarily advantageous”? Someone is dead.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 14, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      True, there aren’t that many card-carrying Klansmen or full-regalia Nazis around. But Breitbart claims to have upwards of 45 million unique visitors per month (and 2 billion page views per annum), and it undoubtedly has a hyperactive fifth column in the West Wing. If you take the plunge into its comments section sometime (which I wouldn’t recommend doing on a full stomach), you’ll see that the thousands who slime the screen with their thoughts there are of the same white-nationalist ilk as their neo-Nazi brethren.

      • Posted September 23, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        Site visitors are not a good indicator. PCC says he often reads Breitbart, and he is nowhere near the far-right. I also visit them sometimes, and I am not even an American.

    • Posted August 14, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      “Just as a matter of tactics, it’s better to leave the neo-nazis alone.”

      I’m on the fence where that’s concerned. failure to counter their protests might send a message to people of color that they are on their own, and have no anti-nazi allies, and I imagine that’s frightening. On the other hand countering their protests plays into a fairly common right wing opinion that I think helps fuel neo-nazism, the idea that people of color, and their allies are bigoted towards white people.

      • Posted August 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        I meant to add that I think that is what’s behind Trumps “all sides” idea. Where we have a war going on between racists on both sides.

        • Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          I wanted to add a tweet that Eiynah made in response to a similar sentiment expressed in a tweet by Michael Shermer. She said “Some of us don’t have the luxury of “ignoring white supremacy” as it hunts us down.”. She was referencing the numerous, and increasing attacks on Muslims, blacks, and Jews since Trump’s election.
          She makes a good point, they are much easier to ignore if you are white.

      • Taz
        Posted August 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        One of the many problems with these types of confrontations is the likelihood they’ll lead to further militarization of the police – similar to the war on drugs.

  7. murali
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    ‘Left or right, carrying an assault weapon in public is an act of terrorism as far as I’m concerned.’

    Really? You make up your definition of terrorism? Then this is a legal form of terrorism.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    FFS, can’t we just ban assault weapons again? Living in this country right now is maddening…fucking maddening.

    • Filippo
      Posted August 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Amuricun Exceptionalism, for all the world to see.

    • Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      All weapons are assault weapons.

  9. ploubere
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I posted on a FB page that Nazis and the KKK have the legal right to hold marches, also citing the Skokie case, and that violence against them was dumb and counter-productive. Naturally I got blasted by the repressive Left. A typical comment:

    “this post is apologist and useless bullshit spouted from a position of privilege. It’s garbage. It’s placating and appealing to white supremacy. We’re past that. But I think you know that. But fuck off with this fake bullshit. You’re not helping.”

  10. Posted August 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The police can ban people from carrying bottles and flag poles but not guns?

  11. Michael Day
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This is a sincere legal question: Virginia (and I assume other states) has laws against “brandishing” weapons (see part of that code below). At what point does openly carrying a firearm to a politically charged rally become threatening? When does it “reasonably induce fear”? From the pictures that I’ve seen, it sure looks like these weapons were carried onto the streets of Charlottesville as a tacit threat.

    Ҥ 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured.”

  12. Randy schenck
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Just as additional information I just listened to a press conference by the Charlotteville, police concerning the riots and it was not very good. It is obvious the police were not prepared for this demonstration and they were totally dependent on the marchers going where they planned for them to go. Once that did not occur they were in a mess they could not handle. There was absolutely nothing said about the weapons the people showed up with and the news people did not ask any question about this. I kept waiting but nothing.

    Finally after the conference was over, one of the folks being interviewed on MSNBC said – it seemed strange that the permit to demonstrate had been allowed considering the weapons that were brought in. I still think this is failure at the highest city and state levels in Virginia that this protest was allowed to take place. I would say lawsuits will be flying for the incompetence that took place here. One reporter who was at the protest said he saw several fights break out with police close by but they did nothing. The police at this conference had no answer for that either.

  13. somer
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree – For many years now the far left have been no friend of the Jews. Moreover the fragmentation of social fabric is what you get when you insist that only your view can be aired and when you condone violence.

    No matter about allusions to acting forcefully to stop the spread of fascism – because supposedly no one reacted of it in the Weimar republic. The Weimar was a facile militarist democracy following a militarist state where the workers were on side because they were guaranteed jobs and (for the time) reasonable conditions under the Kaiser – and where the vast majority of Germans supported militarisation that was going on even under the Weimar republic. The mentality was different then.

    When the British covertly recorded thousands of ordinary German prisoners of war – almost all of them, including leftists were heard making fascist statements and being supportive of hitler. “The soldiers’ conversations make it clear that practically all German soldiers knew or suspected that Jews were being murdered en masse.”

    Or concerning the Weimar Republic from Soldaten – On fighting Killing and Dying: The Secret Second World War Tapes:
    “On all levels of society violence was much more common than today. Political violence was common in the Weimar Republic, which saw no shortage of brawls at political meetings, street fights between left and right wingers, and political assassinations. Moreover everyday social interactions …. were permeated with physical violence.”

  14. Alric
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Some perspective

    • somer
      Posted August 15, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      In australia the main protagonist and an organiser of the rally in the video would face criminal prosecution for saying he would be happy for deaths to occur and that any violence against the other is brought on by themselves. As far as Im concerned that is or should be incitement to violence in an organiser and evidence for criminal prosecution.

  15. Posted August 15, 2017 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    I had no idea that there ARE leftists in the USA!

  16. Posted August 15, 2017 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    If you need to carry a gun in order to exercise your right to free speech, your society is going down the drain.

  17. Josh Lincoln
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t the best thing be if no one came to these white supremacist rallies, no press, no onlookers, no protesters, no one. Picture that.

    • Posted August 15, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      That would be by far the best response, imo.

      But apparently a lot of folks went down to the demonstration to vent their frustration. If they didn’t, they were gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse.

  18. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    The tangerine tyrant was up again last night rage-tweeting, blasting off one of his own carping about the media not being satisfied with his C-ville speech yesterday, then re-tweeting another from the alt-right about how the media don’t report enough on all the mayhem in Chicago.

    Jesus Christ, the guy is obtuse and tone-deaf.

  19. Posted August 15, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    To be fair though – Does this really surprise anyone? Seriously – does it?
    You have one side – The “Antifa”, BLM and other anti-free speech, ultra-authoritarian, extreme left-wing mindless mobs of unthinking idiots waving their anti-fa and Communist flags around, who do nothing but shout down and protest – often violently – anyone who doesn’t agree with what they have to say, or might even plan to say something they don’t agree with. Then on the other side, you have a bunch of racist, hateful nationalistic idiots waving their Nazi flags around telling the other side that they have a right to be racists and say racist things (which I think they do). What happens when people aren’t allowed to talk and say what they want? THIS is what happens. There’s no other alternative. It’s human nature.
    So instead of advocating that Richard Spencer say his stupid racist garbage and then counter it with sane, logical and fact based arguments, it’s just easier to advocate that he shut up and then punch him in the face. And people are genuinely surprised when they get punched right back!

  20. jay
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    TV station WTVR in Richmond reported that their camera man was beaten on the head with a stick for filming a (self identified) gay antifa group.

  21. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Tragic! I did not expect that even from the extremist Left.

  22. fred
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    1) Armed protesters shot no one.

    2) Gun permit people are more law abiding than cops; than anyone.

    3) I’ve gone to dozens of gun shows. Most polite places on the planet.

    4) Antifa started the violence by beating Trump voters and stopping campus free speech and it escalated from there. Antifa is full of anarchists for a reason.

    5) In the 80’s and 90’s white supremacists marched and nobody cared and they got nowhere and communist antifa was nowhere to be seen

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Some lefties were armed too. So left they become too right??   Lol.  […]

  2. […] (see the end of the video), although I note for the record that a few protesters on the Left did as well. I am frankly mystified by President Trump’s reluctance to condemn the white nationalist […]

  3. […] “Armed Leftists in Charlottesville”. Assault rifles. They seem to be rather forthright in attempting to keep it quiet. […]

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