Washington D.C.’s metro rail system chairman is walking back plans to provide white supremacists with separate trains to attend the so-called “Unite the Right” rally next weekend, the Washington Post reported.
Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans had previously told local news outlets that separate trains were being considered. “We’d like to keep the groups separate. We don’t want incidents on Metro,” Evans told News4 on Friday. “Maybe put all of one group on a train or a certain car on a train,” he said.
The proposed plan received pushback over the weekend from members of the Amalgamated Transit Union, who said in a statement that they would not “make these unprecedented special accommodations for a hate group.” The event has been promoted by organizers as a “white civil rights” rally. The groups that organized the rally believe in establishing a whites-only ethnostate.
In a statement, the union said that more than 80% of its members are people of color, “the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed and violated.” For this reason, the union refused to “play a role in their special accommodation.”
Evans, however, denied that Metro was ever considering providing separate trains, despite his comments to media on Friday. “Metro will not be providing a special train or special car for anyone next Sunday,” Evans said.
“We’re not trying to give anyone special treatment,” Evans said, according to the Washington Post. “We’re just trying to avoid scuffles and things of that nature.”
According to News4, the ATU has advised its members to do what they need to feel safe during the rally on Aug. 12.
Next week’s rally in D.C. will be held on the one-year anniversary of last year’s deadly events in Charlottesville, Va. where an anti-racist activist was killed by a neo-Nazi in a car attack.