The 2017 "Unite the Right" rally unleashed deadly racist chaos in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia when a mob of white supremacist neo-Nazis descended upon the community, terrorizing its residents and killing anti-racist protester Heather Heyer in the process.
Currently, organizers and participants of the Unite the Right rally are on trial for conspiring to commit racist violence against non-white Charlottesville residents and counter-protestors.
Among the violent racists on trial is crying Nazi Christopher Cantwell, who's representing himself. Cantwell and his fellow white supremacists have repeatedly mocked the proceedings, openly said the N-word in court, and whined about the supposed atrocities of antifa.
But the defendants' alliance with their online supporters is resulting in even more insidious white supremacist intimidation.
According to a new report by Ellie Silverman of the Washington Post, Cantwell and his ilk—many of whom are banned from social media for their bigotry—are using testimony to force witnesses to name their friends, potentially subjecting them to harassment and endangerment from white supremacists.
Among these witnesses was Devin Willis, who was testifying about the violence he and a group of friends faced from white supremacists marching in the infamous torch rally. While questioning WIllis, Cantwell demanded he name his friends. After Willis said he was "hesitant" to do so, District Judge Norman K. Moon said he was obligated to answer.
According to Silverman's report:
"Within minutes, the names of Willis's friends, and photos of at least one of their faces, spread to far-right chat rooms where extremist supporters were following the trial. One chatroom was led by another defendant, who was also live-tweeting this information.
'Cantwell needs to keep drilling down for more names,' one user wrote in the chat room the afternoon Willis testified.
The brazen display of doxing — or publicly uncovering personal information about a private individual — revealed the ways that white supremacists are weaponizing this federal civil trial about the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally weekend into a spiteful stage."
Four years after terrorizing the city of Charlottesville, white supremacists were using their trial to terrorize its residents once again.
Anyone who is following the Charlottesville civil trial and the Rittenhouse trial simultaneously now CLEARLY sees where the \u201canti-CRT\u201d propaganda campaign originated. \nAll the Trumpers who got slowly brainwashed into thinking they\u2019re \u201cPatriots\u201d?\nYeah. They got duped by N*zis.https://twitter.com/esilverman11/status/1458450169972809729\u00a0\u2026— You Don\u2019t Know Where I\u2019ve Been Lou \ud83d\ude0e (@You Don\u2019t Know Where I\u2019ve Been Lou \ud83d\ude0e) 1636751196
Whats described in this thread is terrifyinghttps://twitter.com/esilverman11/status/1458450169972809729\u00a0\u2026— Aviv (@Aviv) 1636572023
Our institutions are not prepared for this sort of thing and it's only going to get worse.https://twitter.com/esilverman11/status/1458450169972809729\u00a0\u2026— Nate Is So Very Tired (@Nate Is So Very Tired) 1636562637
These hate groups and racists will stop at nothing to spread their poison. As @esilverman11 writes, they are using this trial as an opportunity to spew the hate they\u2019ve been banned from expressing on some social media platforms.https://twitter.com/esilverman11/status/1458450169972809729\u00a0\u2026— Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (@Global Project Against Hate and Extremism) 1636557155
This is very bad.https://twitter.com/esilverman11/status/1458451514930892809\u00a0\u2026— Dave Conrad (@Dave Conrad) 1636607913
This is so vile, so violent, and so terrifying.\n\nAlt text for accessibility here:\nhttps://twitter.com/sleepyknave/status/1458607984569946115?t=ILQ3iy4uu4KA_86Fkl3VBg&s=19\u00a0\u2026https://twitter.com/esilverman11/status/1458451514930892809\u00a0\u2026— Sharyn Blum (@Sharyn Blum) 1636594288
Cantwell's antics in the courtroom have earned the ire of the country.
Chris Cantwell has the most fitting surname in the world, because it appears that he can't do anything well.https://twitter.com/socialistdogmom/status/1459201278454779907\u00a0\u2026— Andrew Fallows on a walk in the woods (@Andrew Fallows on a walk in the woods) 1636745659
Chris Cantwell has absolutely no strategy to his questioning. He just wants to use his time to harass the witnesses and to grandstand before he gets thrown back in the hole.https://twitter.com/emilygorcenski/status/1459200065407438856\u00a0\u2026— Chad Loder (they/them) (@Chad Loder (they/them)) 1636735607
Here\u2019s what Chris Cantwell looks like to the jury:\n\nAn unhinged racist Nazi who thinks it is acceptable to make survivors of terrorism watch the video of the attack over and over and who thinks holocaust jokes are funny but milkshakes are political violence.https://twitter.com/socialistdogmom/status/1458510329210707968\u00a0\u2026— Extremily Gorcenski (@Extremily Gorcenski) 1636586488
Cantwell is currently serving a 41 month prison sentence for cyberstalking and threats.