Hundreds March Downtown To Show Solidarity With Charlottesville Victims, Resist 'Brutal Fascism'
By aaroncynic in News on Aug 14, 2017 12:00AM
Hundreds rallied and marched through the Loop early on Sunday afternoon to show solidarity with the victims of the brutal attack on counter demonstrators by white supremacists in Charlottesville over the weekend. A vigil is also scheduled for 6 p.m. in Federal Plaza.
“Our thoughts today are with the injured and with the family, friends and comrades of Heather Heyer, who was murdered in a brutal fascist attack,” said Hope, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, one of many groups who participated in two actions which both began around 1:00pm. “We reject in no uncertain terms the assertion by right wingers and liberal pundits that anti-fascist self defense is as bad as fascist violence. Yesterday’s clashes happened across a backdrop of hate crimes against Muslims, immigrants and trans women. The desecration of Jewish cemeteries, arson of black churches and mosques. These white supremacists which may seem funny with tiki torches and polos also pose a mortal threat to everything so many of us love and care about.”
Hundreds assembled outside Trump Tower to denounce the attacks in Charlottesville, which by the end of the day saw more than 30 people injured and 1 woman killed after several clashes between white nationalists and counter demonstrators. It culminated with a white supremacist plowing a car through a crowd of people. The driver, a 20-year-old Ohio man, who at one point during the demonstration was carrying the shield of a white nationalist group, was charged with murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run attended failure to stop with injury.
Protesters carried signs emblazoned with slogans such as "F**k Nazis," "No Room For Racism" and "Remember Heather Heyer."
Trump Tower was the focal point of the demonstrations, as many of the groups who participated felt that President Donald Trump has emboldened white supremacism nationwide. Trump was criticized by many over the weekend for making what critics blasted as a milquetoast statement condemning the violence but also implying that it came from “many sides.”
“My husband and I said ‘we need to be there and stand with people who find what happened yesterday in Charlottesville completely unacceptable,” Illinois House Rep. Jan Schakowsky told a crowd assembled in Millennium Park, who later also marched to Trump Tower. “Donald Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened people like David Duke who said in the crowd yesterday ‘we are fulfilling the promise of Donald Trump...’ If Donald Trump wants to show he’s not associated with them why would he say when it comes to hate and bigotry, there are many sides. We want to hear him call it what it is: terrorism.”
America has had a long sordid history of racism and white nationalism, which was pointed out by many demonstrators, who urged attendees to organize to oppose growing racist tides.
“It’s no surprise that we are here in solidarity in the wake of a murder attack by car in a country that’s legalized driving into a protest,” said Ryan Watson of the Socialist Alternative. “This bold display of racist hatred needs to be met with massive national mobilization. Vigils are not enough. For every white nationalist they bring, left and labor organizations can and must organize hundreds of anti racists into the streets. These grown ass men with patio decorations who think that they’re some kind of master race is exactly the America we all grew up in.”
A vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Federal Plaza. Check back for updates.