News broke in the right-wing spheres this week about Andrew Dodson — an American activist who passed away from a drug overdose and suspected suicide on March 9th 2018 at his home.

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Dodson, 34, was a graduate of both Westminster Catawba Christian School who then went on to Clemson University, where he earned degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. He later studied at the University of Arkansas, completing his graduate work in Electrical Engineering — after which he moved to Boston, MA and worked with several companies in Advanced Nuclear Reactor Design. Recently, Drew and other scientists were pursuing a new class of molten salt test reactors for producing goods such as medical isotopes.

His dream was to see a world with cheaper, cleaner, safer energy.

News of Andrew’s death has come as a shock to many who knew and had met him before — his family having kept it quiet back in March — but to the attendees of Charlottesville, it has served as an unsettling reminder of the sentences many of them are still serving after attending the rally.

The ‘Charlottesville’ event, held on August 12th 2017, was officially called ‘Unite the Right’. Its stated goal was to oppose the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. Speakers included Richard Spencer, Mike Enoch, Baked Alaska, Augustus Invictus, and several others.

After the disastrous fallout and the subsequent media furore over the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer, images of the attendees quickly began circulating left-wing blogs and Twitter accounts in an attempt to identify and locate those who were involved.

Charlottesville is still to this day used an example of ‘when the right go too far’, however key speakers claimed afterwards that many of the issues faced by attendees on both sides of the political spectrum that day pointed towards a ‘set up’ by the Mayor and the Police.

Blockades were due to be installed in the immediate area surrounding Emancipation Park to ensure no vehicles would be granted access, yet on the day these were not put in place. There were also many who noted that they were pushed into what they called a ‘kill box’ whereby the protestors were forced into close proximity with the violent counter-protestors, putting them in immediate physical danger. Eye witnesses also claimed the Police seemed very ‘relaxed’ on the day, standing by the perimeter of the event and ‘watching’ as opposed to making arrests, and the only first aid available was from the Unite the Right stewards, not the emergency services. Weapons such as knives and bats were also found in the perimeter of the park the morning of the event, allegedly left by the anti-fascist counter protestors to use on the day.

A state of emergency was also declared by the Police Department due to violent scuffles breaking out in the surrounding areas before the speakers were scheduled to start, yet counter-protestors were allowed to stay in the streets for over two hours with no arrests being made. It was during this time that Heather Heyer was hit by a car driven by James Fields.

Andrew Dodson was an attendee of that march, where he was pepper sprayed directly in the eyes. Online footage shows him screaming out in what looks like excruciating pain. Afterwards, he is seen telling his attackers “I forgive you. I love you.”

COPYWRITE 2018 Medium.com by Lucy Brown

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