They debated how best to protect themselves when fights inevitably broke out.“I recommend you bring picket sign posts shields and other self-defense implements which can be turned from a free speech tool to a self-defense weapon should things turn ugly,” Kessler wrote.
A representative from Unicorn Riot, a media outlet that has been has been deeply critical of far-right movements, said that he had seen white supremacist chat rooms in the Discord app while participants were still actively chatting.
A reporter for Wired magazine confirmed with a prominent Unite the Right organizer that a first batch of messages and recordings published on Unicorn Riot appeared authentic.
Once in Charlottesville, the platform served as a way for attendees to communicate with one another about what was happening. On the day of the protest, the forum’s gleeful banter evaporated with the news of the car plowing into counterprotesters.
The march across the University of Virginia campus to a statue of Thomas Jefferson on Aug. The most common first reaction was a realization that the PR campaign had been lost: the only narrative that could come out of the event was that their side might have committed murder. Numerous posts speculated that James Fields Jr., the Nazi sympathizer police say drove the Dodge Charger into the crowd, had a Jewish parent.
“Welp one group decided to bring swastika flags because I saw multiple on streams,” wrote one user.