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Well, this went better than I expected.They're still proceeding with one charge—and Cantwell is still in jail, essentially a political prisoner.
I didn’t expect any of the charges to be dropped or Cantwell to be released this afternoon. I don’t have any confidence in the judicial system in Commieville. Why on earth did DeAndre Harris and Corey Long get bond? How did Gorcenski and Goad get away with perjury
More from Jason Kessler here.
An MSM report has basically the same facts, but an entirely different tone. Note the passive voice in which "fights broke out" rather than "antifa attacked" and how the antifa, who like to think of themselves as a violent mob, are called "counterprotesters".
The court was going to just take up motions in Cantwell's case, but moved on to calling witnesses to testify as part of a preliminary hearing. The judge heard testimony from Cantwell, people who support him, and counterprotesters from August 11.
Several hundred supporters had gathered at UVA's Nameless Field the night before the controversial rally. The group then marched with torches up the UVA Lawn, past the Rotunda, and met with counterprotesters at the statue of President Thomas Jefferson. Physical fights broke out around the statue: punches were thrown, pushing and shoving, a chemical irritant was sprayed, and some torches were used as weapons.
Police showed up just as the fighting was almost over. Authorities declared the gathering an unlawful assembly, and people cleared out.
The defendant's attorney argued that Cantwell used pepper spray in self defense during the incident at UVA, however the commonwealth claimed he used it maliciously.
The judge is allowing a charge of releasing a caustic agent to be taken up by a grand jury.
The charges of illegal uses of gases maliciously and unlawfully were dropped, because a witness who filed the complaint said he was not sure if Cantwell himself directly pepper sprayed him. The judge said so many people had cans of pepper spray that night that certain attacks could not be directly related to Cantwell.
Update: Single Charge Against Cantwell from Torch-Lit Rally Moving Forward, by John Early, November 9, 2017. Link in original