Vice News was on top of their game this past weekend when they began filming a documentary-style video of the Charlottesville white nationalist protest in real time. Starting the Friday night of the protest, before Saturday’s big rally, Vice filmed the protestors up close and personal — and a reporter joined a crew of protestors for a close look at what motivated them to convene in the first place.
The reporter interviewed several members of the group, then joined them as they marched and even rode in a van with them, asking inquisitive questions of the almost-majority male group that came to Virginia from around the country.
As the group marched down the road with torches, shouting “White Lives Matter” and “Jews will not replace us!” you can almost feel the eerie memory of the KKK, which was once so prevalent in some parts of the United States.
On Saturday, the second day of the protest, the group was kicked out of the park they were originally supposed to march in. Vice captured David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK, responding to this expulsion, saying the city wouldn’t let them hook up their microphones or speakers because of the truth they are telling.
“We’re telling the truth about the ethnic cleansing of America and the destruction of the American way of life….with no freedom or no freedom of speech in this country,” Duke told the cameras.
Hours after this comment, video footage captured the moment a car purposely ran into a large group of people in the street, ultimately killing one anti-white supremacy protestor, Heather Heyer. The video shows the crash from the side and from above, as chaos and screams in the crowd erupt. The Vice reporter is on the ground reporting almost immediately, showcasing individuals on the ground and a round of CPR being administered to someone in the background. The scene was truly terrifying. Outside of the one fatality, 19 people were injured when the car plowed through the crowd.
A man in a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt responded in the aftermath of the crash, saying he had to jump out of the way of the car, emotionally mentioning several times that “we didn’t want them here” and cursing with the scene of the injured behind him. Moments later, Vice spoke with a man who tried to help revive Heyer with CPR, as he recalled her dying in front of him.
The documentary then shows President Donald Trump’s response to the situation, in which he said there has been violence from “many sides” when it comes to racial issues. Anti-march protestors are then shown criticizing Trump for not mentioning Heyer, who he had to know was killed that day in the car crash.
Next, the rally organizer, Jason Kessler addresses an angry crowd of protestors and reporters. Kessler seemed hesitant to approach the microphone, clearly aware that he may be in danger. Soon after his remarks, the crowd caved in on him and he was whisked away to safety by police.
“The fact that nobody on our side died, I’d go ahead and call that points for us,” said white nationalist organizer Christopher Cantwell, throwing multiple guns in front of him on a bed in a hotel room.
Cantwell then justifies the driver who rammed into the crowd, saying they provoked him and he had nowhere to go — and were “stupid animals…who couldn’t just get out of the way of his car.”
Cantwell tells the reporter that the driver was “more than justified” in his actions and that “a lot more people are going to die before we’re done here,” in reference to the next alt-right protest in the works.
It’s Cantwell that is the most talkative throughout the video, and he appears to represent the worst of the crowd, inviting violence, death and encompassing the evil that is at the core of the march.
Props to the Vice reporter, who was able to will herself to spend so much time, poised, with people full of such vast amounts of hate. It’s clear this group of white nationalists is operating on the command of a dark force, but there are far more — legions more — who are not. And that is why they will not prevail.