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Confessions of a Free Speech LawyerCharlottesville and the Politics of Hate$
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Rodney A. Smolla

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749650

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749650.001.0001

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(p.174) 22 Preparations
Confessions of a Free Speech Lawyer

Rodney A. Smolla

Cornell University Press

This chapter details the preparations for the August 12 Unite the Right rally, in which Heather Heyer was one of the planned participants. It describes Heyer's personality that was marked by two strong values: a sweet, kindhearted disposition, and an intolerance for intolerance. It also talks about James Alex Fields Jr., whose domestic life with his mother, in a Florence, Kentucky, apartment, was marked by dysfunction and violence. The chapter investigates the connection between Fields' propensity for impulsive violence and obsession with the Nazis to Heyer's fate. It recounts how Fields's car smashed into the crowd of protesters during the August 12 rally, injuring nineteen people and killing Heyer.

Keywords:   Heather Heyer, James Alex Fields Jr, dysfunction, impulsive violence, Nazis, protesters, Unite the Right rally

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