White nationalist leader Richard Spencer may be forced to represent himself at a trial over the violence following the “alt-right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.
Spencer had attempted to crowdfund $25,000 for a lawyer but had only reached $19,000 ahead of his scheduled court appearance on Thursday, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported Wednesday.
Spencer and other prominent white nationalists like Mike Peinovich, Andrew Anglin and Jason Kessler are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which claims that the violence at the “Unite the Right” rally, which they helped organize, was premeditated. A counter-protester was killed after a supporter of the rally plowed his car into a crowd.
The defense attorneys claim that the march’s organizers needed to be prepared in order to defend themselves, the SPLC said. The hearing on Thursday morning will determine whether the case will be dismissed.
The lawyer for Spencer’s aborted college tour, Kyle Bristow, announced in March that he was no longer representing Spencer and quitting activism entirely after the Detroit Free Press exposed his racist past.
Spencer eventually cancelled his tour after only visiting a few colleges. At one of them, Michigan State University, he was forced to deliver his remarks in a barn a mile from the main campus, and attendance was so low he resorted to giving tickets away outside a local Macy’s.
The SPLC questioned why Spencer was crowdfunding to raise money to hire a lawyer, noting that his family owns millions of dollars of real estate holdings.