Charlottesville organizers tell judge they were acting in self-defense at deadly rally

Charlottesville organizers tell judge they were acting in self-defense at deadly rally

White supremacists involved in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that they planned and encouraged the violence that erupted at the August 2017 protest.

Lawyers for the defendants argued Thursday that the white supremacists merely sought to defend themselves from violent counterprotesters. 

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case, however, argue that the white supremacist groups sought to commit acts of violence from the outset.

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According to BuzzFeed News, the plaintiffs plan on using leaked conversations between defendants, who include rally organizers, on the app Discord to show that they intended to spark violence.

"It's become clear that part of their defense in the case was going to be, 'This is all self-defense,'' Karen Dunn, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told reporters, according to BuzzFeed. "Well, first of all, there are chats that directly contradict that."

It's not clear when the judge in the case will issue a decision on whether to dismiss the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed months after the Charlottesville rally, which turned deadly when a white supremacist allegedly rammed a car through a crowd of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than 30 others.