Two active duty Marines were arrested on May 20 for trespassing on the roof of a building in Alamance County, North Carolina, and unfurling a banner that bore vague, white nationalist quotes during a pro-Confederate Memorial Day rally held in the city.
The men – Sgt. Michael Chesny and Staff Sgt. Joseph Manning – are accused of climbing to the top of 101 N. Main St., a building that sits adjacent to the historic Old Graham courthouse, and unfurling a banner that read, “He who controls the past controls the future,” a quote from George Orwell’s novel “1984.”
It also prominently featured an Identitarian symbol and the letters “YWNRU” on the side, which stands for “You Will Not Replace Us,” a slogan that was used by the white nationalist group Identity Evropa during another pro-Confederate march earlier last month in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The two men were both released the same day on a $1,500 bond, and each Marine’s command is looking to see what, if any, type of disciplinary action will be taken.
Mike Barton, a spokesman for Cherry Point, told the Marine Corps Times that “[o]nce the investigation is complete, the commanding officer’s action can range from taking no action and letting the civilian authorities prosecute the case, to administrative actions such as formal admonishment, non-judicial punishment or administrative separation from the service. The commanding officer may refer the case to a court-martial if the investigation determines the misconduct was serious enough to warrant a prosecution of crimes not already handled through the Alamance County criminal court.”