Protests Erupt Nationwide After White Supremacist Rally and Murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us 

Immediately after news emerged that Heather Heyer had been murdered on Saturday, August 12, by a white supremacist while part of counter-protests against white supremacists in Charlottesville, people across the country poured into the streets in outrage. The next day, Sunday, even larger protests broke out.

Thousands in the Streets in Major Cities…

San Francisco Bay Area

About 800 people joined a demonstration Saturday night in Oakland, under slogans including “Charlottesville We Got Your Back, Bay Area United Against White Supremacy.” Marchers carried signs that read “White Silence Equals Violence” and “This Shit Is Not Okay.” Protesters climbed up onto the 580 freeway and shut it down for 15 minutes. One woman told the news, “We have to bring attention to what’s happening in Charlottesville and to show that we will resist Trump and this fascist regime… We will not tolerate white supremacy. So we have to get in the way of people’s normal days, we have to cause a little bit of disruption … peaceful disruption.” Another protester held a sign, “America First = Fascism.” Earlier, hundreds attended a silent vigil called by Indivisible in downtown San Francisco.

On Sunday, 300 people joined in a march called by Refuse Fascism in San Francisco, going 5 to 6 miles from the Mission District, down Market Street to the Civic Center, with die-ins blocking intersections along the way. There were two other protests in the East Bay, an action against police terror and a demo by Hip Hop for Change. Vigils for Heather Heyer were called for San Francisco Civic Center and downtown Oakland.

Seattle

Sunday evening, over 1,000 people took to the streets responding to Charlottesville and tried to shut down a white supremacist rally that was being protected by militarized police.

Los Angeles

On Sunday, 1,000 people took to the streets in downtown LA in response to what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday. The impromptu event was called for by RefuseFascism.org.

The mood of the crowd was defiant and angry over what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, particularly the murder of Heather Heyer by a fascist white supremacist.

The crowd was very diverse—Black people, white people, Latinos, Asians, LGBTQ people and others. There were young people, old people, families with children, people pushing baby carriages. Many people brought their homemade signs.

The rally started at City Hall. Speakers included Reverend Frank Alton, Pastor of the St. Athanasius Episcopal Church in Echo Park, Lindsey Horvath, a West Hollywood City Council person, and Keith James and Michelle from Refuse Fascism. The Call for November 4 was read and there was a big response to the Nightmares, particularly the one on women. The Call says that November 4 will be the beginning, but Keith James said that this beginning may be starting today.

The march went to La Plaza at Olivera Street; then to the ICE Detention Center, where people shouted to the people inside, “We hear you.” It continued to the Japanese American Museum where people spoke about the threat of nuclear war from the Trump/Pence regime and the anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki. Several Japanese American women from the community spoke in opposing the fascists in the White House and in saying that they have the backs of Muslims, Black people, and immigrants, and that they will fight to stop what happened to the Japanese Americans in World War 2 with internment, from happening to those who are being threatened with the same today.

Then the march went back to City Hall for a final rally.

Chicago

Refuse Fascism put out a call for people to take to the streets to condemn the racist, murdering fascist thugs in Charlottesville. More than 500 rallied on Sunday. The march swelled to around 1,000 people as it wove through the heart of tourist area downtown. As it neared the Trump Tower they took the street for several blocks.

Protesters were of all ages and nationalities. Their sentiment was captured by a woman who told local TV news that she had read about things like this in books and here it was happening and she had to take a stand. Another woman said that she felt the water is rising all around us. The ugly fascist outpouring and murder in Charlottesville really touched a nerve and galvanized people to come out. They came from Indivisible, the Women’s March, the LGBTQ community, in Black Lives Matter t-shirts, children in strollers with anti-racist t-shirts and children with their homemade signs against hate. Car horns blared in support. The people were serious and determined. One person drove by himself all the way from Iowa to be there. People came in from the exurbs on the train, bringing their own signs. High school students who last protested on Inauguration Day, one in her Kaepernick jersey. Veterans from around the country came to Trump Tower after their own march. There was a real sense that we are the ones who have to do this, we can’t stand aside—and the deep desire for this nightmare to end and the reality that Trump/Pence must go was palpable and heartfelt.

At the opening rally, Congressperson Jan Schakowsky spoke. Refuse Fascism speakers condemned the fascists in Charlottesville who were summoned and backed by the Trump regime and the other horrors it means for the world. People from the crowd stepped forward to speak, some saying they were doing so for the first time. Their testimony was moving: the child of immigrants about the fear that her undocumented parents could be deported. A trans man who spoke of the people who committed suicide on the day Trump was elected and his determination not to be shoved back in the closet. The white woman who couldn’t stand the white supremacy and asserted over and over that Black Lives Matter, a chant taken up by the crowd. The lawyer who said people must come out in the street if we are to stop this. A member of the disability community who said their very existence and humanity are on the line. Noche Diaz spoke from the Revolution Club and powerfully called on everyone there to come to the Refuse Fascism regional conferences on August 19 to get ready for November 4, the launch of day after day and night after night protests to demand the Trump/Pence regime must go. Then to much applause, he said that the Revolution Club as followers of Bob Avakian are fighting, not to go back to the time before Trump, but toward revolution and real emancipation of people, and he urged people to get into this.

Huge pictures of Heather Heyer with the word “HEROINE” were brought to the rally and photographed dozens and dozens of times. Many people got Refuse Fascism’s call for November 4 and the August 19 conferences, the invitation to hear Carl Dix on August 20 (returning from Charlottesville), and distributors of Revolution newspaper found a lot of interest.

New York City

Hundreds of people marched from Union Square to Columbus Square to Trump Tower on Sunday, picking up people and shutting down 6th Avenue. Chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA” rang out as marchers approached Trump Tower. Police blocked marchers as they neared the Tower, and there are reports of arrests and of all businesses at Trump Tower being shut down.

Elsewhere Around the Country…

Houston: A dozen people joined with Refuse Fascism to challenge people on a busy street corner.

Philadelphia: Marchers blocked the Vine Expressway after holding a vigil for in solidarity with Charlottesville at City Hall on Saturday.

Syracuse: As many as a thousand rallied in Syracuse on Sunday.

Plymouth, MA: On Sunday, about 100 people attended the rally that was held on the main street right in Plymouth center. A supporter of Refuse Fascism joined the action, and the Refuse Fascism posters, banner, and the Call for November 4 were well received.

Oakland, CA, August 13. Photo: Facebook

Seattle, WA, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@amurphous

Los Angeles, CA, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Los Angeles, CA, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Marching to Trump Tower, Chicago, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Revolution Club, Chicago, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

At Trump Tower, Chicago, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

New York City, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Taking over 6th Avenue in Manhattan, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@KeeganNYC

Houston, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Philadelphia, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@NewsWorksWHYY

Syracuse, NY, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@careoftheearth

Plymouth, MA, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Springfield, IL, August 13. Photo: Twitter/‏@bluegal

New Haven, CT, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@TATMnews

Atlanta, GA, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@DaveonMarjan

 

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