Charlottesville, Va., during a white supremacist rally.

Credit: Kevin Grant/The GroundTruth Project

Charlottesville As A 'Trial Balloon' For White Nationalist Rallies

August 15, 2017

Violence broke out in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday during a white nationalist rally, when a man plowed his car through a crowd of protesters, killing a woman and injuring several others.

Kevin Grant, executive editor of The GroundTruth Project, a WGBH partner, was in Charlottesville and spoke to WGBH's Bob Seay about what he saw.

"Charlottesville was the first, or maybe the second, such rally in America that is really going to test local communities," Grant said, calling the event a "trial balloon" for white nationalist rallies. "How are they able to respond to this kind of gathering of white nationalist forces?"

The rally planned in Boston this weekend "will be another test, another trial balloon," Grant continued.

Charlottesville police, Grant added, were ill-prepared to handle the situation when violence broke out. “It seems they made a strategic decision to hold ground, be present, and block certain people from going to certain areas, rather than try to break up these skirmishes,” he said.

To listen to Bob Seay's entire interview with Kevin Grant, click on the audio file above. 

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