Victims of August 11 and 12 Violence File Federal Lawsuit

Steve Helber  AP

Steve Helber AP

After heavily armed groups unaffiliated with law enforcement agencies frightened and confused people on August 12, the city of Charlottesville is taking action to try to prevent militias and paramilitary organizations from mobilizing in Virginia. The city council of Charlottesville voted to join the lawsuit Thursday, according to the Daily Progress.

"Our complaints shows that there are legal tools available to ensure that the streets do not become battlefields for those who organize and engage in paramilitary activity", said Mary McCord, senior litigator for the institute. In language that dates back to the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776, Article I, Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution provides that "in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power".

The complaint alleges that the white nationalist groups "came to Charlottesville to fight", and were organized "not "as individuals" exercising their Second Amendment rights to self-defense, but 'as members of a fighting force'".

"Whatever their stated intentions, these groups terrified local residents and caused attendees to mistake them for authorized military personnel", the complaint reads.

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Groups including the Traditionalist Worker Party, Vanguard America and the Virginian Minutemen Militia were named as defendants.

The plaintiffs are also trying to prevent future events like the rally from taking place in Charlottesville.

One woman was killed and dozens more were injured when a auto plowed through a group of counter-protestors at the rally.

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