Second Marine Vet at Charlottesville Plans Another Nationalist Rally

White nationalist Richard Spencer (L) and Nathan Damigo of Identity Evropa speak to select media in a building serving as office space on Aug. 14, 2017, in Alexandria, Va. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
White nationalist Richard Spencer (L) and Nathan Damigo of Identity Evropa speak to select media in a building serving as office space on Aug. 14, 2017, in Alexandria, Va. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Fallout from weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., continues to swirl around Nathan Damigo of Oakdale, California, a white nationalist leader and former Marine rifleman who told reporters he will help sponsor a rally in the Bay Area on Aug. 27.

Since Saturday's bloody confrontation between white nationalists and counter demonstrators:

-- California State University, Stanislaus administrators confirmed that Damigo, founder of the white supremacy group Identity Evropa, remains enrolled, but did not respond to specific questions about preparations for potential disturbances when classes resume next week.

-- His father denounced Damigo's "activities with the racist organizations," reported the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal in Maine.

-- GoFundMe removed several money campaigns for James Fields, a white nationalist suspected of driving into counter protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 people. Damigo's plea for contributions on another crowdfunding site, rootbocks.com, wasn't working Tuesday either.

-- Two of the injured sued Damigo, among many other white nationalists who organized or were somehow connected with Saturday's rally, seeking $3 million.

Damigo, 31, briefly was arrested Saturday when he refused to leave a park during the chaotic confrontation. In a video posted soon after on his Twitter feed, Damigo reveled in the action, saying, "This is a huge victory for us. We are going to get national attention."

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He achieved infamy in April when a video went viral showing him flooring a woman with a hard face punch during a clash with counter demonstrators in Berkeley.

Damigo has not responded to multiple Modesto Bee inquiries. But he appeared Monday at a press conference in Alexandria, Va., with Richard Spencer, a prominent white supremacist scheduled to appear a week from Sunday at Damigo's rally in Berkeley, they told reporters.

Officers in riot gear on Saturday forced white nationalists into the path of counter demonstrators armed with metal sticks, baseball bats and other weapons, Damigo said at the press conference. The day before, his group had secured a federal court order allowing the event to proceed, but police declared it an unlawful assembly when chaos erupted.

"At the end of the day, law enforcement did not do their jobs," Damigo told reporters. "Maybe they wanted a situation to occur in which they could shut down the event."

Spencer said the town's mayor and state's governor "have blood on their hands," and said white nationalists bear no responsibility for the violence.

Fields, 20, the driver charged with second-degree for murder for allegedly running down Heather Heyer, 32, with his car, wore a white polo shirt similar to those identified with Identity Evropa, but Fields has never been a member, Damigo said. He didn't know if Fields belongs to another white nationalist group. Spencer said plowing into pedestrians is "appalling and disgusting" but otherwise withheld judgment of Fields until more facts are known.

Damigo was raised by his mother and stepfather in the Bay Area and his family later moved to Oakdale. He served with the Marine Corps in Iraq before being less than honorably discharged and serving a prison sentence for armed robbery of a cab driver in Southern California whom he mistook for an Iraqi after a night of heavy drinking.

He studied white supremacy ideology while behind bars, according to KQED.

His father, Peter Lodge, is an adjunct history professor at the University of Maine who disavowed Damigo's activism, the Sun Journal reported.

An anonymous blogger posted a call online for followers to demand that Stanislaus State expel Damigo, whose website says he is pursuing social studies at the university.

In an email to The Modesto Bee, Rosalee Rush, Stanislaus State senior associate vice president for communications, said, "The university continues to closely review and coordinate with local law enforcement to assess and monitor any criminal activity or violence on campus.

"As a public institution of higher education, we are committed to helping our students understand complex issues such as First Amendment free speech and how to cope with hate speech in productive ways," Rush said.

University President Ellen Junn launched an investigation in Turlock and Berkeley after the April clash featuring Damigo slugging the woman. Whatever came of the probe, as well as the university's preparation for potential trouble when students return Aug. 23, could not be determined Tuesday.

In April, Damigo tried to raise money with a GoFundMe account, but it was "removed on the same day it was created," spokesman Bobby Whithorne told The Bee.

GoFundMe likewise canceled several campaigns recently established to benefit Fields, Whithorne said, because "we don't tolerate the promotion of hate or intolerance of any kind."

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 This article is written by Garth Stapley from The Modesto Bee and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com. Show Full Article

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