WASHINGTON — After weeks of hype, white supremacists managed to muster just a couple of dozen supporters on Sunday in the nation’s capital for the first anniversary of their deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., finding themselves greatly outnumbered by counterprotesters, police officers and representatives of the news media.
There appeared to be many reasons for the poor showing from a movement that just a year ago turned out hundreds of adherents who boldly marched unmasked in Charlottesville, chanting anti-Semitic slogans and bearing torches.
The alt-right movement, never very well unified, has been particularly rived by infighting and schisms in the last year. Members have been outed by both online activists and mainstream media outlets, causing some to lose their jobs. The left’s ability to turn out counterprotesters has also been a factor, from the hard-left activists threatening violence against far-right street protesters, to center-left citizens who have been vocal, and explicit, in expressing their disgust and scorn.
In an interview on Monday, right-wing agitator Jason Kessler, the organizer of Sunday’s event in Washington, said that fear and an “atmosphere of intimidation” were the primary reasons for the sparse turnout.
For example, he said that participants in a chat group on Discord, a digital communications app favored by the far right, were harassed in the run-up to the rally after their personal information, including phone numbers, addresses and license plates, was released online.
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