J.Timberlake, Ariana G., Pharrell and others For A Concert For Charlottesville

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They’re a band on a mission! In response to the recent tragic events in their hometown of Charlottesville, Dave Matthews Band is hosting an evening of music and unity at University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium in Virginia on Sunday. Check out Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton, Ariana Grande, The Roots, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and Cage the Elephant as they join DMB for the charity event. Chris Martin also stopped by for a surprise perform during the concert. The whole concert, which is directed by Brett Ratner, is free to residents of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia communities. Attendees are being encouraged to donate to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. Fans can watch the livestream, produced by Oath, here and can also tune into musicandunitytumblr.

Susan Bro, who was mother of the late Heather Heyer, and Dave Matthews speak onstage at A Concert for Charlottesville.

SUSAN BRO AND DAVE MATTHEWS - Kevin MazurGetty Images
SUSAN BRO AND DAVE MATTHEWS – Kevin MazurGetty Images

 

The crooner lends his talents to the worthy cause in Virginia

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE- Kevin MazurGetty Images
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE- Kevin MazurGetty Images

 

The big-voiced singer wows the crowd at the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium.

ARIANA GRANDE- Kevin MazurGetty Images
ARIANA GRANDE- Kevin MazurGetty Images

 

The “Happy” singer performs with The Roots at A Concert for Charlottesville at University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium.

ARIANA GRANDE- Kevin MazurGetty Images
ARIANA GRANDE- Kevin MazurGetty Images

Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin of Coldplay perform at A Concert for Charlottesville at University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

COLDPLAY- Kevin MazurGetty Images
COLDPLAY- Kevin MazurGetty Images

Coldplay singer surprises the audience by performing a set at University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium.

CHRIS MARTIN- Kevin MazurGetty Images
CHRIS MARTIN- Kevin MazurGetty Images

Frontman Matt Shultz rocks out at University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

CAGE THE ELEPHANT- Kevin MazurGetty Images
CAGE THE ELEPHANT- Kevin MazurGetty Images

The powerhouse vocalist performs for the masses.

BRITTANY HOWARD & THE ROOTS- Kevin MazurGetty Images
BRITTANY HOWARD & THE ROOTS- Kevin MazurGetty Images

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White nationalist Christopher Cantwell denied bond on felony charges in Charlottesville rally

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A judge on Thursday reportedly denied bond for white nationalist Christopher Cantwell, who was seen crying in a video apparently afraid of getting arrested in connection with the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

The 36-year-old from Keene, New Hampshire, appeared Thursday in court, where Albemarle County Judge William Barkley initially set bond at $25,000, WVIR reported.

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS PROFANITY 

Prosecutors appealed, and after a separate hearing in the afternoon, another judge reversed the decision, according to The Daily Progress. Prosecutors claimed he was a flight risk, which his defense team denied.

Cantwell faces charges including malicious bodily injury by means of a caustic substance or agent. He told The Associated Press that he pepper-sprayed a counter-demonstrator in self-defense during an August 11 protest on the Charlottesville campus, a day before the much larger white nationalist rally.

The video of the teary-eyed Cantwell led social media commenters to name him “the crying Nazi,” but he told the Daily Beast, “One minute I’m a f—ing white supremacist terrorist and the next minute I’m a f—ing crybaby?”

He described himself in testimony as a “shock jock” but ultimately admitted he hosted “a racist podcast,” The Daily Progress added.

“This community has been through so much since back in May, and it all ties in together. We just gotta figure out, first of all, how to stop this nonsense from ever happening again. Secondly, what we do moving forward to reunite this community and rally forward and bring about a healing. This was an important step towards that,” community activist Don Gathers told WVIR.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Amid Charlottesville backlash, some are asking if statue removal push has gone too far

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Since the violent clashes in Charlottesville earlier this month, the debate over removing Confederate monuments is sparking other controversies.

In New York City, for instance, there are growing calls to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus that stands atop a plinth in the middle of the famed traffic circle that bears the name of the Italian explorer.

On the campus of the University of Southern California, the director of the school’s Black Student Assembly has criticized the Trojan mascot’s horse because its name is similar to the one Robert E. Lee rode.

More on this…

And in Memphis, a group of protestors began digging up the grave of dead Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan member Nathan Bedford Forrest.

While cities like Baltimore and New Orleans have torn down their memorials to the Confederacy, some historians, free speech groups and politicians are now questioning how far the movement against the country’s controversial statues will go and how their removal will impact discussions of the Civil War and other divisive moments in U.S. history.

“Removing these statues facilitates people forgetting about the bad old days,” Alfred Brophy, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, told Fox News. “We have this idea that it is all about morals, but you have to contextualize these issues.”

Brophy added: “These statues create a conversation about our history and the dark days of our country.”

His sentiments were echoed by the mayor of the town at the center of the statue debate.

Writing in the Washington Post, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer called the nighttime white nationalist demonstration that preceded the violent clashes “appalling” and “repellent,” but defended his vote not to remove the Lee statue.

Signer noted that a city commission’s report found that many African-Americans in Charlottesville opposed removing the statue “on the grounds that that it would be yet another example of hiding their experience.”

We shouldn’t honor the dishonorable Confederate cause, but we shouldn’t try to erase it, either…As philosopher George Santayana said, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’

– Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer

“We shouldn’t honor the dishonorable Confederate cause, but we shouldn’t try to erase it, either,” Singer wrote. “As philosopher George Santayana said, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’”

Others, however, argue that the current fervor to remove these contentious memorials – Confederate or otherwise – is warranted and that if people really want to create a discussion about U.S. history there are better places do that than in a public park.

“Putting these statues in museums would be a great idea,” John Fabian Witt, a professor at Yale Law School, told Fox News. “That way we are able to keep these things and allow people to learn about an ugly part of this country’s history, but keep them outside of the public space.”

Instead of taking down these statues from public areas, Brophy said there are other ways to steer the discussion about the country’s history without putting them in a museum.

He said Talbot County, Maryland, is a good example.

The Eastern Shore county – located across the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore and the birthplace of early civil rights leader Frederick Douglass – has for decades featured a memorial to the “Talbot Boys,” local men who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, at its courthouse.

Six years ago, in response to the pressure from local activists, the county erected a statute to the abolitionist Douglass on the same courthouse house grounds.

“I think it shows how this community has changed from a time when black people weren’t allowed to even be on the courthouse lawn, and now we have a monument to a black man who was one of the most prominent figures of the 19th century,” said Eric Lowery, president of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society. “It’s truly a community project.”

There also appears to be more support for keeping statues around than earlier reports indicated.

A number of recent polls have shown that the majority of American favor keeping them as historical symbols. A recent NPR/PBS/Marist poll found that 62 percent favor keeping up confederate memorials compared to just 27 percent that want them removed.

Even the NAACP has decried all the attention paid to those calling for the removal of statues, saying that the current argument over these memorials deflect attention from actual policy issues that affect the lives of African-Americans.

“We have to be careful that we not allow symbolism to override substance. Right now, we’re focused on bringing the statues down,” Rev. Wendell Anthony, the president of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, said last week, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Let’s be very clear, the Confederacy fought against the rights of black folks to be free. That’s who they were.”

Anthony added: “But if we take down statues but leave up the policies, we still have not done our job.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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Tillerson says Trump ‘speaks for himself’ on Charlottesville protests

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday became the most recent high-ranking administration official to distance himself from President Trump’s remarks after the deadly Virginia protests, saying the president “speaks for himself.”

Tillerson’s comment on “Fox News Sunday” follows Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic adviser and the director of the National Economic Council, saying in a Financial Times interview published last week that the administration “can and must do better” in condemning hate groups.

The Aug. 13 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, began as a rally organized by white supremacists and turned deadly when a counter-protester was run down by a car.

Trump, in the aftermath, denounced neo-Nazis and the KKK, but his argument that “both sides” in the violent protests were to blame has brought widespread criticism.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said after the Cohn interview was published that nobody “was surprised” by his comments.

Tillerson on Sunday also said Sebastian Gorka was “completely wrong” in his criticism of Trump’s recent Afghanistan speech because it did not include the words “radical Islam” when referring to U.S. efforts to rid the country of terror groups like ISIS.

The White House on Friday announced that Gorka was no longer a White House aide.

“It shows (Gorka’s) lack of understanding of the president’s broader policy when it comes to protecting Americans at home and abroad from all acts of terrorism,” Tillerson said.

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‘Civil Disobedience’ March From Charlottesville to DC Will Demand Trump’s Removal

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Protesters are planning a march starting from Charlottesville, Virginia to Washington, D.C. to fight white supremacy and demand that President Trump be removed from office.

“The March to Confront White Supremacy” will spend ten days starting on Monday, August 28 travelling to the nation’s capitol and then occupy it with non-violent demonstrations.

“For years, white supremacist violence, rhetoric, and policies have escalated and intensified – exploding during Donald Trump’s run for president and reaching a boiling point in Charlottesville,” the website for the event reads.

White nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent earlier this month, leaving one dead and the nation reeling. Although President Trump repeatedly condemned the white supremacist and Nazi ideologies of the rioters, some on the left are still convinced he is racist.


Huffington Post Asks if Serving Your Country Makes You Racist

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“We demand that President Trump to be removed from office for allying himself with this ideology of hate and we demand an agenda that repairs the damage it’s done to our country and its people,” the march organizers wrote. 

“This will be a sustained civil disobedience campaign, so bring what you need to stay,” they continued.

Several demonstrations against Nazi and KKK ideologies have taken place since Charlottesville, including a march in Boston and one group’s toppling of a Confederate statue in Durham, NC.


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Special Funeral Planned for Marine Combat Dog on National Dog Day

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Mother of Charlottesville victim to present new award at 2017 VMAs

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The mother of a woman killed while protesting at the now infamous rally in Charlottesville, Virginia will present a brand new award at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.

MTV announced Sunday that Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, will present the award for “Best Fight Against the System,” an award added to this year’s ceremony to highlight the work of activists. Nominated in the inaugural category are artists like Alessia Cara, Big Sean, John Legend and more.

Heyer was killed earlier this month when a driver rammed a car through a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bro announced on Saturday that she had created the Heather Heyer Foundation to provide scholarships to social activists.

Bro’s presentation won’t be the only political element to the VMAs. A group of transgender service members and veterans are planning to walk the arrivals line and do interviews to highlight their service. Their high profile appearance comes in the wake of a directive from President Donald Trump to ban new transgender military recruits and re-assess what to do with current transgender military members.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Violent Alt-Right Chats Could Be Key to Charlottesville Lawsuits

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In the weeks leading up to the Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalist march that left one counter-protestor dead, organizers discussed inserting screws into flagpoles to be used as potential weapons and concealing firearms in the case of a “gunfight,” according to chatroom logs. In the days after the march, participants in the same chatroom created a meme from a photo of a car that struck and killed Heather Heyer, describing the incident as “Back to the Fhurer.”

Unicorn Riot

The chatroom transcripts and a related audio recording offer a new window into the mind set of march organizers before and after the August 12 rally. They were obtained and disclosed by Unicorn Riot, which describes itself as a “media collective” focusing on “dynamic social struggles.” Lawyers say the chatroom discussions could be useful in the criminal case against James Alex Fields Jr., accused of driving the car that killed Heyer, or civil lawsuits filed by people injured in the confrontation.

Unicorn Riot has so far published roughly 1,000 screenshots of chats, and the recording, conducted through the app Discord, from a source. A march organizer says the documents he has seen appear to be authentic. Transcripts show participants openly planning violence while organizers instruct them to obey the law. Participants on one call debated when it would be permissible to use riot shields as weapons. “Some screaming little Latina bitch comes at you and knocks your teeth on your riot shield, that means you hit her, and you’re going to get in trouble for the weapons,” one participant says.

Unicorn Riot

Timothy Litzenburg represents two women injured in the melee who last week sued 28 groups and individuals, including the alleged organizers of the Unite the Right march. He says the documents could be “the crux of the case,” because they show “a little flavor of how [organizers] totally intended on violence and mayhem.”

The documents published by Unicorn Riot focus on months of chat logs from Charlottesville 2.0, a private “server” inside Discord operated by far-right provocateurs Jason Kessler and Eli Mosley, among others. Mosley, a self-described “alt-right” activist, says in an interview that the few documents and recordings highlighted on Unicorn Riot’s website appear authentic, but he does not trust the outlet. Mosley says the documents and recording show him repeatedly urging nonviolence; he says he banned 80 people from the Charlottesville server, some for advocating violence.

On the recording, Mosley says, “Going up to, like, MSNBC and them interviewing you and you saying like, ‘Yeah, I actually think we should kill every nonwhite on the planet’ … like, again, I don’t necessarily like have an issue with listening to that on a podcast or whatever, but if you are gonna do something like that, even if it’s your true belief, that’s not the objective of this rally.”

Mosley says he is careful to hew to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brandenburg v. Ohio, a landmark 1968 case that said the government cannot punish even hateful speech unless it incites “imminent lawless action.” Allen Lichtenstein, a former lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, says the ensuing violence would have to happen “more or less immediately.” Mosley says his political opponents get hysterical over the “dark humor” of the alt-right. “The idea that little tractor meme is somehow a call to run people over is ridiculous,” he says. In a courtroom, however, judges or juries may take a different view of such statements.

Litzenburg, the lawyer for the women injured at the protest, says the organizers’ warnings against violence may not protect them legally. “Saying ‘y’all be good now wink wink’ I don’t think washes your hands of violence in this case,” he says. Potential claims by organizers that they acted in self-defense could be undercut by chatroom transcripts that show they were “waiting and hoping for [an action] that will justifiably trigger a violent response,” says Jeffrey Douglas, a board member of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.

Unicorn Riot

Douglas says the documents could be useful for officials in other cities who want to regulate or ban similar marches. “If you say, ‘Look, there could be problems, we don’t want problems,’ that’s never going to be enough for the court to restrict otherwise protected speech,” Douglas says. But if the government can show a well-founded basis that there was “not just a likelihood of conflict but sort of preparation for illegal activity, then the courts are more likely to impose restrictions.”

Discord allows users to create private, invitation-only group chat rooms, which Discord calls servers, that are not indexed. The company, which is also popular with gamers, has raised more than $100 million from top-tier venture capital firms like Benchmark, Greylock, and Accel. But its privacy and anonymity features became a draw for far-right groups, including those that organized the Charlottesville march. Since Heyer’s death, Discord expelled several extremist groups.

The footage and imagery from Charlottesville—gun-toting militants, anti-Semitic chants, melees in the street—has catalyzed opposition to neo-fascists and white nationalists, raising the prospect of future violence.

“You put together a situation where you have Nazis and guns and torchlight parades saying Sieg heil, and people who are convinced the only way to stop that is direct action, you’ve got a recipe for trouble,” says Lichtenstein, the former ACLU of Nevada lawyer. He notes that it is legal to openly carry a firearm in Virginia, raising tough questions for courts. “What should be the rule as it relates to First Amendment protected demonstrations where legally carried firearms are there?”

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Charlottesville Riot Protester Chris Cantwell Mug Shot Photo After Arrest

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Charlottesville Riots

White Supremacist Chris Cantwell

Poses for Mug Shot

8/24/2017 6:55 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Christopher Cantwell, the guy featured in the Vice doc about the Charlottesville rally, posed for his pic at the cop shop.

A stone-faced Cantwell glared into the camera Wednesday after turning himself in. He was booked for malicious release of dangerous gas causing injury, assault using acid and unlawful release of a dangerous gas causing injury.

Cantwell was a focal point of the documentary, and you see him clear as day pepper spray a counter-protester at the demonstration that turned violent and deadly.

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Charlottesville Riots White Supremacist Chris Cantwell Turns Himself in to police

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Charlottesville Riots

White Supremacist Chris Cantwell

Turns Himself In

8/23/2017 9:00 PM PDT

White supremacist and one of the organizers of the Charlottesville Riots Chris Cantwell has turned himself in to police.

Multiple reports say Cantwell turned himself in Wednesday after the University of Virginia Police Department issued a warrant for his arrest earlier in the week. The warrants were for two counts of illegal use of tear gas and one count of malicious bodily injury with a caustic substance.

Cantwell was profiled in a piece by Vice about the August 11 riots that took the life of Heather Heyer, who was hit by a car driven through a crowd by 20-year-old James Alex Fields.

Cantwell is currently being held in Lynchburg, VA and awaiting transport to Charlottesville.

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Charlottesville covers Confederate statues with black shrouds

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Workers in Charlottesville, Va. shrouded statues of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in black on Wednesday as the city grappled with an outbreak of deadly violence at a white nationalist rally earlier this month.

Workers used ropes, poles and cherry-pickers to hoist what appeared to be a black tarpaulin over both statues as onlookers took photos and video. Some in the crowd surrounding the Lee statue cheered as the cover was put in place.

“It’s great. It’s a good start,” said Jamie Dyer, who spoke from Justice Park, where the Jackson statue is located. “They do have to go, but it is a start, and I’m glad the city has finally recognized it has to happen on some level.”

Later Wednesday, local media reported that a man with a gun strapped to his leg approached the Lee statue and began cutting the tarp with a knife.

Police asked him to stop, and he complied. He addressed reporters and bystanders, saying he thought it was illegal under state law to cover a war memorial and that doing so amounted to erasing history.

In front of TV cameras, the man starting arguing with others at the scene over what should be done with the statues and who was at fault for the violence that unfolded at the Aug. 12 rally.

The Charlottesville City Council voted Tuesday night to shroud the statues. That vote came at the end of a hourslong meeting packed with irate residents who screamed and cursed at councilors over the city’s response to the rally.

The “Unite the Right” event was believed to be the largest gathering of white nationalists in a decade. Neo-Nazis, KKK members, skinhead and members of various white nationalist factions clashed violently with counter-protesters in the street adjacent to Emancipation Park, where the Lee statue stands and where the rally was to take place.

The fighting went on largely uninterrupted by authorities until the event was declared an unlawful assembly and the crowd was forced to disperse. Later, a car rammed into a crowd of demonstrators, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

The man who police say was driving, James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged in her death.

The death toll for the day climbed to three when a helicopter that had been monitoring the event and assisting with the governor’s motorcade crashed, killing two state troopers.

The white nationalist rally was ostensibly sparked by the city council’s vote earlier this year to take down the Lee statue. That decision is in the midst of a legal challenge, and a judge has issued an injunction preventing the city from removing the Lee statue while the lawsuit plays out.

A state law passed in 1998 forbids local governments from removing, damaging or defacing war monuments, but there is legal ambiguity about whether that applies to statues such as the Lee monument, which was erected before the law was passed.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 1.

The council initially planned to leave the Jackson statue in place but at the meeting Tuesday took the first administrative steps toward having it removed as well.

In other developments Wednesday, Christopher Cantwell, a white nationalist from New Hampshire, was expected to turn himself in on three felony charges.

Contacted by The Associated Press, Cantwell acknowledged he had pepper-sprayed a counter-demonstrator during an Aug. 11 protest on the campus of the University of Virginia. But he insisted he was defending himself, saying he did it “because my only other option was knocking out his teeth.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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