Neo-Nazi who attacked Amtrak train revealed as Unite the Right participant

Luke Barnes

Luke Barnes Reporter, Think Progress

A neo-Nazi who boarded an Amtrak train armed with a gun and broke into the engine compartment to disable the train has been revealed to have attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August, and marched next to accused domestic terrorist James Alex Fields.

Taylor Wilson was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Friday in Lincoln, Nebraska for boarding the train in October. After entering the engine compartment, he cut the lights to the passenger compartment and disabled the train, causing panic among passengers.

Wilson, who was a card-carrying member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, said shortly after that he was “trying to save the train from black people”. Authorities later found white supremacist documents, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and a tactical shield behind a secret compartment in his house. According to VICE News, Wilson was also suspected of putting up “whites only” signs at businesses.

On Monday however, it was revealed by the independent media collective Unicorn Riot that not only was Wilson an avowed white supremacist, but that he’d actively participated in the Unite the Right rally, said he wanted to be a martyr for the white supremacist cause, and had spoken regularly with members of the now-defunct Traditionalist Worker’s Party in the run-up to the Charlottesville rally. According to Unicorn Riot’s leaked chats, Wilson frequently attended far-right rallies, boasting that he’d been to one in Pikeville, Kentucky as well as an earlier march in Charlottesville prior to Unite the Right.

Wilson was also seen marching side-by-side with James Alex Fields Jr., who stands accused of ramming his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more. Fields, who has also been indicted on federal hate crimes charges, faces trial later in November.

Wilson is just the latest domino to fall in the line of white supremacists who attended the Charlottesville rally last year. Just last week, four members of the far-right Rise Above Movement (RAM) in California were charged with inciting a riot and assault who, according to the complaint, traveled from California to Charlottesville with the intention, “(a) to incite a riot, (b) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, and carry on in a riot, (c) as having ‘participated in violent encounters in Charlottesville.'”

According to ProPublica, RAM is a self-styled far-right fight club, and its members were among the most violent at Charlottesville.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Human Service Workers at Persad Center Vote to Join the USW

From the USW

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, voted last week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 24 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last month and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“We care about our work and the communities we serve,” said Johanna Smith, Persad’s Development, Communications, and Events Associate. “We strongly believe this work and our connections to our clients will only improve now that we will be represented by a union.”

The Persad workers join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Their membership is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage LGBTQ+ members and improve contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“Workplaces are changing and evolving, and the labor movement is changing and evolving along with that,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as the USW Health Care Workers Council. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to diversify our great union while uplifting and empowering a group of workers who give their all for others.”

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work