Some suggested the military-style body armor also served a propaganda purpose, reinforcing the argument that they had reason to protect themselves from violent counterprotesters.Plans for deployment during the rally were complex and detailed, including schematics that resembled battle plans – or football plays.When Nazi images intermingled with Confederate flags during the rally, some Charlottesville 2.0 participants seemed disappointed they weren’t able to keep their group swastika-free.
“I recommend you bring picket sign posts shields and other self-defense implements which can be turned from a free speech tool to a self-defense weapon should things turn ugly,” Kessler wrote.
The chat rooms also included tips on defensive gear like body armor and shields.
The server used to plan the Unite the Right rally, Charlottesville 2.0, had hundreds of users by the time it was shut down shortly after the event.
But it remained active during the rally, with more than 1,600 messages posted to its most popular chat room on the day of the event.
Reveal could not independently verify the authenticity of the messages.
A representative from Unicorn Riot said that he had seen white supremacist chat rooms in the Discord app while participants were still actively chatting.
Much of the discussion was centered around how the event would look to the outside world.
Keeping these particular symbols of white supremacy out of sight at the rally was part of a strategy to win more followers.
“If Antifa fucks with us it’ll look like average Trump supporters …
are under attack.” Organizers advised attendees planning to bring guns, which proved to be a popular choice, to be extremely judicious about using them.
The planning even included what to do if questioned by police following any violent altercations with counterprotesters.