White supremacists have murdered at least 73 since Charlottesville, ADL says
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White supremacists have murdered at least 73 since Charlottesville, ADL says

Rise in far-right violence, racist propaganda over past two years tied to Virginia rally, says report, which traces fallout among extremists

A white supremacist leaves Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
A white supremacist leaves Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

JTA — White supremacists have committed at least 73 murders since the far-right rally two summers ago in Charlottesville, Virginia.

That figure comes from a report released Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League that says 39 of the killings were “clearly motivated by hateful, racist ideology.”

The violence of the Unite the Right rally has led to an increase in white supremacist activity, according to the report, which is titled “Two Years Ago, They Marched in Charlottesville. Where Are They Now?”

“The violence on the streets of Charlottesville has kindled two major tracks of white supremacist activity,” the ADL said. “The first is the rampant dissemination of propaganda designed to promote their views and attract attention. The other, more troubling track is a broader series of violent attacks in the two years since Unite the Right.”

Among those attacks were the shootings at a Parkland high school, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Poway Chabad and Saturday’s attack at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

According to the report, the recent attacks are part of a four-year resurgence in white supremacist activity and activism driven in large part by the rise of the “alt right.”

A White nationalist is shown during a rally near the White House on the one year anniversary of the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, August 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Unite the Right rally in August 2017, which left one counter-protester dead, drew far-right extremists from at least 39 states and presented approximately 50 different extreme-right movements, groups and entities, according to the report. The Center on Extremism has identified 330 of the roughly 600 white extremists from the event. Most were from the eastern US, but others came from Alaska, California, and Washington, and countries including Canada, Sweden and South Africa.

More than a dozen Unite the Right attendees have been convicted and sentenced for crimes related to violence committed during the rally, most notably James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio, who was sentenced to two life sentences plus 419 years for deliberately driving his car into a crowd of protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more.

The US military discharged several active duty Marines who were connected to Unite the Right for espousing anti-Semitic and racist views online and for connections to neo-Nazi groups. Other participants lost jobs as a result of the rally, including at least one demonstrator who worked in the aerospace industry.

White nationalist demonstrators use shields to guard the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Others are battling civil lawsuits at state and federal levels over accusations that they promoted violence.

The report also traces the trajectory of the last two years for leaders of the rally, including several that now lead their own white supremacist groups. Some of the leaders have faced lawsuits as well as domestic and international travel bans.

Most of the white supremacist groups and individuals who attended Unite the Right remain active today, according to the report, which said that there does not appear to be a desire among participants to organize a similar event.

Some of the participants have celebrated Charlottesville, with at least one sporting a tattoo commemorating the protest, while others have worked to distance themselves to reduce the risks of individual exposure, public backlash, legal repercussions and negative media coverage. Most participants view Charlottesville as a significant milestone and an important unifying event for the far-right movement.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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