Eleven people have sued white nationalists whose rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly this summer, saying they suffered emotional and physical trauma from protesters' threats and violence.
The federal lawsuit filed in Charlottesville late on Wednesday seeks damages from 25 white nationalist individuals and groups alleged to be involved in the Aug. 12 protest, including activist Richard Spencer. It also requests a court order banning them from staging similar rallies.
Those named in the suit went to Charlottesville "to terrorize its residents, commit acts of violence, and use the town as a backdrop to showcase for the media and the nation a neo-nationalist agenda," the suit said.
Spencer is president of the National Policy Institute. The executive director of that group, Evan McLaren, called the lawsuit "entirely frivolous."
In an emailed statement, McLaren said, "The political forces opposed to us lack a serious, coherent response to our message and presence, and thus seek to outlaw our ability to speak."
Two other defendants, rally organizer Jason Kessler and Michael Hill, co-founder of the League of the South, declined to comment.
Among those filing the suit, one had a stroke, two were injured and others suffered psychological and emotional distress when the protest descended into a brawl, the complaint said.