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

Labor Wins

From the AFL-CIO

On Tuesday, the labor movement drove historic wins for pro-worker candidates like Governor-Elect Andy Beshear in Kentucky and new legislative majorities in Virginia. Not only did union members come out to vote in droves, 270 union member candidates were elected to public office last night and counting. This adds to the total of more than 900 union members elected up and down the ballot in last year’s midterms, a product of the Union Member Candidate Program launched by the AFL-CIO just two years ago. The share of union members who won in the 2018 midterms is two-thirds. The program will continue through 2020 and beyond, electing even more union members to public office. 

“Our efforts recruiting, training and supporting labor candidates have led to the passage of pro-worker legislation from coast to coast and everywhere in between,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work