After two serious attacks on working journalists by apparent “anti-fascist” Antifa activists, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is remaining silent on leftist political violence Monday.
On Sunday, a photojournalist with WTVR, the Richmond, Virginia CBS affiliate, received staples for a head wound inflicted by a group of men who told him to “stop filming” a march through that city to protest Saturday’s Unite the Right rally of white nationalists and alt-right groups in Charlottesville, VA.
The men can be seen in a clip posted on Twitter by WVTR reporter Laura French waving, and possibly hitting the journalist with the classic “Antifaschistische Aktion” used by violent gangs of communist and anarchist street brawlers in Europe since the 1930s. These European-originating leftist groups, commonly referred to as “Antifa,” have grown in size and prominence on this side of the Atlantic in recent years.
— Laura French (@lfrenchnews) August 14, 2017
Our photojournalist reported back that he got 4 staples after a protester hit him in the head. pic.twitter.com/bG5JRYfksJ
— WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) August 14, 2017
The attack followed a similar incident Saturday during the Unite the Right rally the Richmond march was protesting. Suspected Antifa activists punched Taylor Lorenz, a female reporter from The Hill, as she tried to film their activities during the violent morass with white nationalist groups around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, leading to a local state of emergency being declared.
Breitbart News contacted the governor’s office repeatedly Monday, giving McAuliffe and his staff an opportunity to denounce Antifa violence against journalists. McAuliffe’s office gave no response.
By contrast, McAufille issued an extended denunciation of “Nazis” and “White Supremist [sic]” in the aftermath of Saturday’s aborted Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Yet then, as Monday, McAuliffe refused, multiple times, to address reporters’ questions about Antifa and other left-wing extremists.
Subsequent eyewitness accounts by Unite the Right rally-goers, who had a permit to protest at Emancipation Park —as of late called Lee Park — suggest Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other violent leftist groups were the initiating force behind most of the violence there and that policing tactics in effect forced the two diametrically opposed groups into close physical contact. A report by the progressive ProPublica outfit disputed which side began the violence, but agreed that a decision appeared to have been made to allow the groups to engage each other.
Pax Dickinson, who had been scheduled to give an address about free speech at the Unite the Right rally before the state of emergency forced the event to disperse, gave his own account to the Daily Caller Monday, largely comporting with earlier descriptions of a “gauntlet” of Antifa through which dispersing rally-goers were forced to move and declaring that Governor McAuliffe had “blood on his hands.” He wrote:
It’s clear that VSP had specific orders to drive us out of the park to the south, into the teeth of violent armed antifa counter-protesters.
Police could have easily separated the barricades and removed all rally participants to the north, away from antifa and into empty streets fully controlled by law enforcement. We were driven into a hostile situation intentionally. It’s impossible not to believe that the authorities issuing these orders knew exactly what would happen and that they wanted rally attendees to be harmed and possibly killed.
Meanwhile, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, who appeared with McAuliffe in his Saturday press conference and also has refused to denounce Antifa and other left-wing political violence at this weekend’s events, went on CNN Monday to hit President Donald Trump on not being specific enough in his condemnations of “White Supremacists.”