Speed Reads

on the run

Unite the Right organizer chased away by protesters during press conference

The man behind Saturday's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended with a counter-protester being killed when she was hit by a car, was chased off by protesters Sunday during a press conference.

Organizer Jason Kessler took absolutely no responsibility for the violent protest, attended by hundreds of white supremacists, saying in a statement released before the press conference that "police purposefully created the catastrophe that led to a melee in the streets of Charlottesville and the death of a counter-protester." As he tried to talk, a crowd shouted him down, with some banging on trash cans and one man playing the trombone. Several people held signs, which read "Nazis go home" and "Hate has no home here," and chanted "Shame on you! Shame on you!"

Kessler was able to speak for a few minutes before two people moved toward him, including one who had been cursing at him, CNN reports. Kessler then ran off, and Virginia State Police said a Charlottesville man was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery after a state trooper saw him spit on Kessler when he was fleeing. Later, Kessler tweeted, "The First Amendment is finished it seems."