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Charlottesville Killing: Was it terrorism?

by Countable | 8.13.17

On Friday hundreds of white supremacists marched through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, VA carrying torches and chanting racist slogans. Saturday violence erupted around the city as a planned "Unite the Right" white nationalist rally was disbanded by police, sending the assembled white supremacists out into the streets with the thousands of community members who had arrived to protest against them.

A car, allegedly driven by James Fields Jr. of Ohio, plowed into protestors on a crowded side street, killing 32-year old local paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Fields has been arrested and is currently charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and other counts.

In his statement, prior to the news of Heyer's death, President Trump condemned the violence, but stopped short of calling the actions taken terrorism:

Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were quick to call out the president on Twitter for not naming what happened as terrorism or white supremacy and not explicitly disavowing white supremacist organizations.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) tweeted:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) tweeted:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted:

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted:

Terrorism is defined by the U.S. government in Title 22 Chapter 38 U.S. Code § 2656f as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents."

What do you think? Was what James Fields Jr. did terrorism? Should the president and the Department of Justice insist on pursuing terrorism charges against him?

Tell us in the survey and comments, share this post widely to get more citizens involved in the conversation, and then use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: ABC News via Twitter)

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