VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A rally to support the driver of a pickup truck who sped through a crowd of protesters in 2017 was organized and held in Vancouver Saturday afternoon.
The “Free Billy Wilson Rally,” organized by Patriot Prayer and 3% of Washington, began at 1 p.m. outside of the Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver.
A few dozen people waving flags gathered at the courthouse. It was over shortly after 2 p.m.
KOIN 6 News will have more information later.
Who is Billy Wilson?
On September 10, 2017, chaos erupted quickly when opposing groups faced off over differing views on white nationalism in downtown Portland, prompting at least 7 arrests, confrontations, a change in the permitted march route and violent actions that resulted in at least 2 officers being injured.
Then the protest that began in Portland moved across the river into Vancouver, where Joey Gibson’s Patriot Prayer group gathered.
Those against white nationalism marched through the streets of Vancouver, engaging in some confrontations while chanting “Go home, Nazis!”
Just before 4:30 p.m. the driver of a 4×4 truck sped through the crowd of marchers. Though no one was hit, it created chaos. Police surrounded the truck as marchers rapidly approached. Two people were arrested, according to Vancouver Police.
William Donald “Billy” Wilson was detained, according to The Columbian. Wilson was charged in February by Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik with 2 counts of reckless endangerment and reckless driving. The Columbian cited court records that suggest Wilson will argue he acted in self-defense and was under duress.
The Vancouver incident happened about a month after James Fields Jr. rammed his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer. Fields was convicted and will be sentenced March 29. A jury recommended life in prison.
Glossary of terms from Merriam-Webster
one of a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation
a member of a German fascist party controlling Germany from 1933 to 1945 under Adolf Hitler
a : one who espouses the beliefs and policies of the German Nazis : fascist
b : one who is likened to a German Nazi : a harshly domineering, dictatorial, or intolerant person
a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control