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White supremacist Jason Kessler and members of the extreme right march to the White House on the anniversary of the 'Unite the Right' rally in Washington on August 12, 2018. EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO
White supremacist Jason Kessler and members of the extreme right march to the White House on the anniversary of the "Unite the Right" rally in Washington on August 12, 2018. EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Unite the Right: When size does matter

The demonstrations for and against white nationalism over the weekend were a sign that, when it comes to ideals, size (of attendance) does matter.

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Remember Charlottesville? The whole country does.

This past weekend marked a year since the clash between a group of white nationalists and anti-fascist protesters in Virginia, which resulted in one person dead, controversial presidential statements, and an increase in racial tension within the country.

Considering the government's tacit support for the xenophobic positions of right-wing groups, the second installment of last year’s demonstration should have had thousands of participants.

However, that wasn’t the case.

According to several media reports, "Unite the Right 2" only drew about 30 right-wing protesters in Washington D.C., a small stage and calm spirits.

Jason Kessler, an organizer of the event, explained to CNN that the limited participation was due to "logistical issues and confusion regarding the group’s transportation," something that several participants repeated during their statements.

Kessler also explained to the New York Times that the low turnout was due to "an atmosphere of intimidation" that emerged after last year's events, as many participants of nationalist groups have been publicly attacked and have even lost their jobs.

The demonstration did not last long - no one knows for sure whether it was because of the rain or the nonsense of the situation.

However, and according to the Times, the tension in the street - between extensive police cordons and counter-demonstrators in each corner - did not seem to diminish or indicate that "the divisions of the country were close to healing".

Flags and hats embroidered with "Make America Great Again" faced cries of "shame" and "No Nazis" through flocks of police officers.

"Most of the counterprotesters could not even catch sight of the brief right-wing rally, where some of the roughly two dozen demonstrators inside their penned-off area held signs that said, 'Protect the endangered species, stop white genocide,' and 'white lives matter,'" the Times continued.

On the other hand, media outlets such as Vox reported some hotbeds of violence initiated by groups of anti-fascists who threw blunt objects at the nationalists.

Although the divisionism focuses on the positions of the nationalists in favor of a "host" country that is not "saturated" with immigrants, the little attendance at demonstrations in both Virginia and Washington showed that the country doesn’t entirely agree with the rhetoric of a White House that has given carte blanche to this resurgence of the extreme right.

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