- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The highly charged political atmosphere surrounding the killing of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville last weekend was not paused for her funeral, as activists wielding pink baseball bats and purple shields were present for the proceedings.

Mourners arrived Wednesday outside Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater to pay their respects to Ms. Heyer, who was killed Saturday by a vehicle driven by suspect James Alex Fields Jr. Black-clad anti-fascist (Antifa) protesters, like those who clashed with white supremacists over the weekend, were again on hand with weapons.

“Anti-fascist activists have just shown up outside the theater with baseball bats and purple shields,” The Hill’s Taylor Lorenz tweeted outside the event at 9:44 a.m. EST.

“A group mobilized in case white supremacists showed up to a C-ville memorial for Heather Heyer,” added The Washington Post’s Dan Zak.

Antifa protesters came under attack from President Trump Tuesday night during a press conference with reporters, although he referred to them as “alt-left” agitators.

“OK, what about the alt-left that came charging at [indiscernible] — excuse me — what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” the president asked. “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats — you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.”

Ms. Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, told attendees at Wednesday’s memorial service that it was time for Americans to have an “uncomfortable dialogue,” but in a peaceful way.

“It’s not easy,” she said. “We’re not going to sit round and say Kumbaya. It’s not all about forgiveness. We are going to have our differences. But let’s channel that difference not into hate, not into violence, but into righteous action.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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