Remember all the white supremacists who swore they went to Charlottesville, Va., to conduct a “peaceful” protest and stand up for their First Amendment rights, or whatever the hell they were saying to excuse their mess? It appears that they have been caught in a bit of a lie (surprise, surprise) after a stream of leaked chats from a now-defunct chat server used to organize attendees at the infamous Unite the Right rally shows that there were those who came intent on committing violence.
The leaked chat room transcripts were provided by Unicorn Riot, self-described as a volunteer-operated, decentralized media collective, after the outlet said it received several transcripts through the app Discord from an anonymous source. Unicorn Riot began steadily publishing the information in edited batches, which attorneys say could be useful in the criminal case against James Alex Fields Jr., who is accused of plowing his vehicle through a crowd, ultimately killing counterprotester Heather Heyer, or in the civil lawsuits filed by those who were injured in the collision, according to Wired.
In some of the chats, posters shared photos of themselves holding semi-automatic weapons or homemade shields and discussing using various types of weapons during the rally to ward off counterprotesters. One chat even gave instructions on how to embed screws into flagpoles or sign handles to use as weapons, and another chat discussed the ideal thickness of a PVC pipe to be used for “thumping.”
And then there are the multitude of posts joking about driving cars into the masses of peaceful protesters, which is, again, something that ended up actually happening, resulting in one person, Heyer, losing her life, and leaving at least 19 others injured.
To add insult to injury, shortly after Heyer’s death, a user posted a meme of the car used to kill her, captioning it “Back to the Fhurer [sic],” as Bustle notes.
Timothy Litzenburg, an attorney representing two women injured in Charlottesville, told Wired that the documents could be “the crux of the case” because they reveal “a little flavor of how [organizers] totally intended on violence and mayhem.”
The two women being represented by Litzenburg have filed a lawsuit against some 28 groups and individuals, including the accused organizers of the rally.
As for Discord, it has since deleted the hateful chats as well as several servers tied to the Charlottesville organizers, promising in a post to “take action against white supremacy, nazi ideology and all forms of hate.”