The first city council meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia, erupted with furious residents confronting council members on Monday night over the authorities’ handling of a white nationalist rally that left a woman dead and 19 people injured.
“You had multiple opportunities to intervene and you did not intervene one time. We told you exactly what you needed to do and you did nothing,” one man said at the meeting, according to local NBC affiliate WVIR.
At one point during the meeting, two people climbed onto the dais to hold a large sign reading, “Blood on your hands,” prompting some councilors and city staff to flee the room, per WVIR.
A Charlottesville City Council meeting aimed toward examining the recent Neo-nazi video that engulfed the city, itself devolved into chaos as protestors stormed the stage chanting “blood on your hands.”
Both the mayor and city council members were unable to get much of a word in during the chaos Monday. The city is still reeling from the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a Neo-nazi protester last week.
Many of the protesters were angry that the rally had been allowed to go on at all.
According to the New York Times:
The meeting started out without incident, but as soon as the rally was mentioned, several residents began shouting down city officials for allowing the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally to take place. The chamber erupted, and when police officers forcibly removed three people, the 100 or so at the meeting broke out into furious chants of “Shame” and “Shut it down!” The three people were issued summonses charging them with disorderly conduct. Protesters then brought out a sign reading, “BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS,” to hold behind the city council. No injuries were reported.
The council meeting comes amid ‘Unite the Right’ organizer, Jason Kessler firing off a disgusting tweet about the victim Heather Heyer on Friday, The Gateway Pundit reports.
Unfortunately, Jason Kessler is going to live forever. Hell won't even want him now. pic.twitter.com/el94270cbq
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) August 20, 2017
LA Times reports:
The tweet linked to a story on neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer that also insulted Heyer in crude terms and appeared to take glee in her death.
Kessler did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Police say Heyer was killed when a rally attendee, James A. Fields, 20, drove his sports car into a crowd of counter-protesters at the event Aug. 12, which drew white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other far-right figures from around the nation.
Fields has been charged with her murder. Kessler had blamed city officials for not providing sufficient security for the rally, which originally was organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park.
Kessler’s tweet sparked denunciations from other far-right rally attendees, who quickly distanced themselves, accelerating a spiral of recriminations that have been brewing among far-right leaders over who was to blame for the chaos behind last weekend’s violent “Unite the Right” rally.
On Saturday morning, the tweet had been deleted from Kessler’s account, which initially claimed he’d been hacked but then backtracked and said he’d been on a mixture of drugs.
“I repudiate the heinous tweet that was sent from my account last night. I’ve been under a crushing amount of stress & death threats,” the tweet stated. “I’m taking ambien, xanax and I had been drinking last night. I sometimes wake up having done strange things I can’t remember.”
Residents would be more outraged if they knew that a Charlottesville police officer has come forward to express his outrage at being told to “stand down” by the city mayor during violent clashes between protesters.