Burke gets $10,000 from the TWP.
Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), a neo-Nazi group based in Ohio, will pay a car attack survivor and rally participant $10,000. TWP was a far-right group active in the five-year span between 2013 and 2018. It was originally established by Matthew Heimbach under the name Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN). By March 2018, TWP had been disbanded after Heimbach was arrested for battery and had parted ways with group co-founder Matt Parrott. The incident at the center of the lawsuit occurred during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2017, a lawsuit was filed against the Party in Southern District of Ohio U.S. District Court on behalf of William “Bill” Burke after James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd, striking and killing Heather Heyer and injuring Burke. Since that time, Burke has pursued litigation against white supremacy groups and has openly discussed the physical, mental, and emotional toll the incident took on him and fellow protestors.
Charlottesville had planned to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and Burke’s lawsuit had alleged the move was “meant to send a message of white supremacy.” A nationwide effort to organize the removal of many of the Confederate statues began in 2015 in order to support and promote social justice. The rally formed when far-right groups gathered to oppose the ceremonious event. From August 11 to 12, 2017, members of the alt-right, neo-Confederates, neo-fascists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other members of right-wing protestors marched together, chanted, waved flags, and engaged in violence and destruction. Tensions mounted with devastating results.
Burke’s attorney, Michael Fradin, said his client is committed to fighting for justice and equality. He said, “Burke is relentlessly dedicated to standing up against racism, bigotry, antisemitism, and homophobia. With [the court’s] decision here, Burke can continue his efforts to dismantle the Traditionalist Worker Party.”
Most of the defendants in the far-reaching case involving numerous hate groups with racist views have been dismissed or have been made to pay a fee. KKK leader, for example, David Duke was ordered to pay $5,000, and Fradin called the judgment an “important step” in their fight against the hate groups. He added, “Bill Burke is a true American and a role model for those fighting for civil rights.”
Duke’s attorney, Kyle J. Bristow, however, responded the judgment against his client was insignificant, after trying several times to dismiss the case. Birstow said, “The plaintiff’s claims against Duke constituted nothing more than a nuisance, and the civil action was resolved for a mere $5,000 after the plaintiff was faced with the possibility of having to pay Duke’s costs should the plaintiff not accept the offer of judgment and not thereafter improve the plaintiff’s position.”
With the judgment against the Traditionalist Worker Party, the remaining defendants in Burkes’ suit include the National Policy Institute, Andrew Anglin, Gregory Anglin’ Daily Stormer, Moonbase Holdings LLC, Anglin and Anglin LLC, and Morning Star Ministries USA Inc.