The Atlantic

What the Next Round of Alt-Right Rallies Will Reveal

Protests scheduled in nine American cities for Saturday will provide a sense of where the movement is headed.
Source: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Members of the alt-right like to depict their movement as an irreverent response to political correctness.

On Saturday, in Charlottesville, Virginia, James Alex Fields Jr. drove a car through that façade, in a terrorist attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured 19 others who had gathered in opposition to the white-nationalist movement.

It was a defining moment, but not a moment for a pause. More alt-right rallies are scheduled for the coming Saturday, in at least nine cities. These events will provide an important barometer for the future of this movement, depending on how many people turn out, who those people are, and how they conduct themselves. For the alt-right, the coming weekend represents a critical test—which may reveal it gathering force, dissipating, or changing in significant ways. By Saturday night, it may be clear where it’s headed.

The alt-right has become an umbrella community for the American far-right, a loosely defined movement with a strong center of gravity online and which encompasses a large number of subnetworks.

Some of these subgroups identify primarily as the alt-right, but many

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