On August 12, exactly one year after the Unite the Right neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virigina, left over a dozen of people injured and one 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, dead, white nationalists, white supremacists and members of the “alt-right” marched on Washington, D.C.
To be more specific, about 20 to 25 of them descended upon Lafayette Park, a modest square of greenery that abuts the White House. I was there and could just about see them, huddled in a corner, protected by over a thousand Metropolitan Police officers, SWAT teams, and Secret Service agents. They were transported to a rallying point via a private metro car — an arrangement made against the explicit wishes of the transit workers themselves, and whose union, ATU Local 689, issued a strident statement condemning the public transportation agency for giving special treatment to a hate group. After the fascists’ exclusive train ride, they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue.
As a fitful downpour soaked the proceedings, organizer Jason Kessler — who was also behind the murderous 2017 event — clung to an American flag and spoke to the assemblage, acknowledging its meager size and thanking the police for their protection. His speech was drowned out by the thousands of protestors who surrounded the park and blockaded its exits in an effort to prevent the small group of fascists from leaving.