ACLU Refuses to Defend Protesters Exercising First and Second Amendments Together

Second Amendment rally

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has announced a post-Charlottesville policy shift that it will no longer defend protest groups that exercise First and Second Amendment rights together.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said, “If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able to carry loaded firearms,’ well, we don’t have to represent them. They can find someone else.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the policy shift that Romero highlighted is focused on “hate groups,” which are listed as “white nationalists” and “neo-Nazis.” Romero did not say whether ACLU protection would also be denied to Black Panther protesters who are armed or to communist party members who could rally for the left while armed.

The policy shift comes after the ACLU’s “Virginia branch helped organizers of the ‘Unite the Right’ protest secure a permit to assemble in a Charlottesville park [on August 12].” When the city of Charlottesville pushed to move the protest away from the park, the ACLU stood by protest organizer Jason Kessler and won the day.

On August 15, Breitbart News pointed to Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) reports that Kessler is rumored to be a former Occupy Wall Street activist and supporter of former President Barack Obama.

According to SPLC:

Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.

At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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