In an effort to head off violence between white nationalists and counterprotesters, the District of Columbia metro transit system is considering providing separate trains for those attending the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally Aug. 12. The use of separate trains for such a purpose would be unprecedented.

In response to criticism, Jack Evans, chairman of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said in a Washington Post article:

“We’re not trying to give anyone special treatment. We’re just trying to avoid scuffles and things of that nature.”

The rally will be the second “Unite the Right” demonstration, and it will come about one year after the first, in which a woman was killed in Charlottesville, Va., when a man allegedly deliberately drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters. Charlottesville has denied all permit requests to hold events at the same area over the Aug. 11-12 weekend.

The D.C. event will feature an array of white nationalist speakers, including Richard Spencer.

Critics of the transit agency’s plan are angered by the prospect of accommodating white supremacist groups.  According to the system’s largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, three private Metrorail cars would be provided to the nationalist groups. Jackie L. Jeter, the president of the union, which says more than 80 percent of its members are people of color, commented to the Post:

“Local 689 is proud to provide transit to everyone for the many events we have in D.C., including the March for Life, the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter. We draw the line at giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech.”

Counterprotests are planned by Black Lives Matter, self-described anti-fascist demonstrators and other groups.

View Michael Nigro’s photo essay about last year’s Charlottesville protest here.


Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.