In August 2017, hundreds of white supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis invaded Charlottesville, Virginia.
On August 11, they marched with torches and surrounded a group of students and community members on the University of Virginia campus. The white supremacists pushed, punched, and threw lighted torches. Religious leaders at a nearby church sheltered in place for fear that they would be next.
On August 12, white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in military style to Emancipation Park, shouting racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic slurs. They charged through a line of interfaith clergy. They attacked and assaulted countless citizens. After police dispersed them, James Alex Fields, Jr., a defendant in this case, drove his car into a crowd of peaceful protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.
With this lawsuit, the Charlottesville community is fighting back. This case sends a message to every hate group in the country: Americans will not give in to violence and hate. We will defend the dignity and equality of all people. And we will ensure this never happens again.