October 21, 2017

Nationwide Solidarity Rallies Planned For Sunday In Aftermath Of Charlottesville


A number of solidarity rallies were announced across the country on Saturday night in the aftermath of the chaotic white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Indivisible Project, a nonprofit that connects advocacy groups, organized a searchable database filled with more than a hundred events scheduled for Sunday in a dozen or more states. These counter-events are being held in direct response to the violence incited at Saturday’s so-called “Unite The Right” rally, which was attended by thousands of white supremacists, armed militia groups and Ku Klux Klan members, as well as anti-racist counter-protesters.

“This weekend, hate groups and domestic terrorists of all stripes went to Charlottesville, VA to push their hateful message of white supremacy, fascism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry,” the organization said in a statement. 

“Tonight and tomorrow, we will join our fellow Americans across the country to hold events to show solidarity with those who bravely stood against the white supremacists in Charlottesville, and for all those who stand to lose under the hateful, bigoted agenda they push.”

Indivisible is partnered with several large nonprofit groups, including the Women’s March, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood and America Action.

The impromptu rallies are a call to “stand in solidarity with Charlottesville,” according to Indivisible. They range from candlelight vigils, rallies celebrating diversity and sit-in demonstrations to marches against racism and “vigils against fascist violence.”

At least one counter-protest had already mobilized on Saturday night when demonstrators in Oakland, California blocked a freeway and set off fireworks in response to Charlottesville. It is unclear if the Oakland protest was one of the events listed on Indivisible’s website.

Armed with bats, flags and chemical sprays, white nationalists and counter-protestors fought on the streets of downtown Charlottesville on Saturday. According to officials, three people died and at least 35 people were injured as a result of the clashes.

Tensions reached a boiling point early on when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman. Tragedy struck again when a Virginia state police helicopter responding to the rally crashed seven miles from the riot, killing the two state troopers who were inside.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Saturday night that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia had opened up a federal investigation into the rally, saying that actions arising “from racial bigotry and hatred” cannot be tolerated. 

The FBI’s regional Richmond office, along with the state attorney’s office, has also opened a civil rights investigation into the fatal car crash.

President Donald Trump condemned the display of “hatred, bigotry and violence” at the rally, but argued that the blame could be placed on “many sides.” His response was widely criticized for not explicitly denouncing white supremacy or racism.



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