Alice Frei is an amazing activist with a generous heart who recently moved to Charlottesville to be near her daughter, to enjoy its small-town charm and natural beauty. The following is a transcription of her account of attending the Charlottesville counter-protest on August 12, 2017.
(1) Last weekend thousands of racists Americans invaded my adopted town of Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a small liberal university town in [the] sea of conservative central Virginia. Politically very active. Friday night, a torch lit KKK, Neo-Nazi, alt right group, racists marched the shocked campus of UVA. Students put out a call to counter protestors to show up and Emancipation (2) Park (formerly Lee Park). So we went. No one really expected violence. From the moment we arrived, we were pushed and shoved and screamed at “traitor, Jew, white power.” There were flying bottles and guns everywhere. I grabbed my friend, “let’s get out of here. We can go downtown.” So we turned down 2nd street toward Market (3) street. I heard the roar of a gunned engine then the deep sound of crunching metal. People running past us, “let’s get out of here!”
It took two hours to get home. We could see smoke rising in the distance. “Do you think it was a bomb[?]” (4) Radio news was chaotic and unclear. It took CNN to tell us how violent the protest was; that the metal crunch caused the loss of a young woman and the smoke was a fatal helicopter crash.
Three people dead.
CNN gave the gory post-mortem.
Trump the horrible eulogy.
(5) But since, all over the country alt-right racist rallies have been cancelled or humiliated; confederate statues removed or destroyed.
Our nasty Trump may have played his last card.
I grieve for the innocence of Charlottesville. A town unknown to most Americans, until now.