Inmates pedal stationary bikes to charge car batteries at a prison in Santa Rita do Sapucai, Brazil. An innovative program allows inmates at this medium-security prison to shave days off their sentence in exchange for riding stationary bikes hooked up to converted car batteries that are used to illuminate Santa Rita do Sapucai’s town square. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet
On Tuesday, November 23, a jury in Virginia found that a group of White nationalists and White supremacists who organized the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017 were guilty of a conspiracy — and the plaintiffs were awarded $26 million in damages. But reporting from the Associated Press stresses that collecting the money may be challenging, as some of the Unite the Right organizers are broke.
According to AP, "Whether they will be able to collect a significant chunk of that money remains to be seen. Many of the defendants are in prison, in hiding or have dropped out of the White nationalist movement. At least three of the far-right extremist groups named as defendants have dissolved. And most of the defendants claim they will never have the money needed to pay off the judgments against them."
One of those defendants is Matthew Heimbach, who co-founded a neo-Nazi group called the Traditionalist Worker Party with Matthew Parrott, another defendant in the case. AP reports that Heimbach "said he is a single father to two young sons, works at a factory and lives paycheck to paycheck." And white nationalist Richard Spencer, before the trial in the case, told a judge that the lawsuit has been "financially crippling" for him.
AP notes, "Even with the many obstacles to collecting the full $26 million judgment, there are ways to secure at least some of it. Typically, plaintiffs' lawyers will seek court orders to seize assets, garnish wages, and place liens on property owned by defendants."
Attorney James Kolenich, who has represented three of the defendants in the lawsuit, told AP, "I don't think any of them could afford to pay out of pocket these damages. We are going to do what we can to cut this down to size."
But Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernadino, believes that plaintiffs may be able to collect at least some of the money because there are so many defendants in the lawsuit. In other words, payments here and there could add up.
Levin told AP, "The thing that's different about this case is you have a wide array of defendants. Some of them are currently locked up or destitute, but they might have assets, (insurance) policies or real estate that could be recoverable."
- Neo-Nazi Spencer Caught In Multiple Lies At Charlottesville Trial ... ›
- Charlottesville Jury Holds 'Unite The Right' Nazis Liable For $25 ... ›
- Jury awards $26 million in Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally civil ... ›
- Spencer, Kessler, Cantwell and other white supremacists found ... ›
- Jury awards more than $25m in damages over deadly 2017 ... ›
- Charlottesville jury awards over $24 million in damages in 'Unite the ... ›
- Jury finds Unite the Right defendants liable for more than $26 million ... ›
- Jury in Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' trial awards plaintiffs $25M in ... ›
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for U.S.-based adults of all ages, anti-vaxxers continue to spread lies and misinformation about the effectiveness of vaccines. And some of those anti-vaxxers, according to Business Insider’s Tom Porter, are promoting fake and dangerous ways for people who have received COVID-19 vaccines and now regret it to “de-vaccinate themselves.”
Americans who have already been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and received the Moderna or Pfizer booster shots are getting them because they want more protection from COVID-19, not less. Anti-vaxxers, however, are making the false claim that vaccines are harmful and that their “cures” can counter those harmful effects. But as Porter points out, it is physically impossible to “de-vaccinate” someone who has already received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Porter explains, “It is impossible to undo vaccination, a process which works by teaching the body to fight infection itself, and which doesn't rely on substances that can be isolated or removed. But with millions of people now vaccinated against COVID-19, some anti-vaccination advocates are pivoting to a new narrative aimed at those who took vaccines and regret it. They claim it is indeed possible to ‘de-vaccinate’ people, recommending a host of methods which range from quaint to potentially dangerous.”
Porter notes how wacky some of the fake “cures” for COVID-19 vaccines are.The reporter observes, “In a video hosted on Bitchute, a platform known for its extremist content, a man applies electrodes, a strong magnet and ‘55% Montana whiskey’ in the hope of removing a COVID-19 vaccine from a US military veteran. In another, a gory variant of the ‘cupping’ technique to draw blood from an injection site, a man makes extra incisions with a razor to extract a significant amount…. Neither method had any hope of working.”
But as nutty and totally unscientific as these COVID-19 vaccine “cures” are, Porter reports, the “de-vaccination movement” has been “spreading in Telegram groups with thousands of members, as well as other fringe platforms used by extremists.”
According to Porter, “Advocates have also established a presence on mainstream platforms that purport to restrict such activity, such as Facebook and TikTok, experts told Insider. In response to Insider flagging their presence, Facebook removed a de-vaccination group and several pages from its site for violating its COVID misinformation policies.”