Vigil Honors Charlottesville Victims, Fights White Supremacy
Several hundred people gathered in uptown's Marshall Park Saturday night for a peaceful vigil following last weekend's unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Organized by the group Charlotte Uprising, it drew a diverse crowd of white, black, Asian, Latino and LGBT people.
Luminaria spelling the letters C-L-T were arranged between speakers and the crowd. Some people laid flowers on the plaza. As the sky darkened, many in the crowd lit candles.
As the rally started, people chanted, “ "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”
Organizer Ash Williams of Charlotte Uprising described the activities: “A vigil, a speakout and a call to action. The vigil is for the victim(s) of Charlottesville, and all of the people are victims to white supremacy, and then the speakout is for folks to talk about the ways in which white supremacy has impacted them.”
Dominic Pickett of Fort Mill said it was the first time he's been part of a protest.
“I think I gotta do more. There's a lot going on in the country right now. And I think everybody has to do their part. There's not reason to hide anymore. Like, we know what's going on. Everybody just has to do something about it,” he said.
For him, that meant coming to Charlotte with his family, include wife Monique, and 20-month-old daughter, Zoe.
“We came out for change. I never thought my daughter would have to live through this. It's 2017. It's time to move forward,” she said.
Williams remembered Heather Heyer, the counter-protester who was run down by a driver in Charlottesville last weekend. And Williams called on police to drop the charges against protesters who toppled a confederate monument in Durham last week.
There was also a reference to the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott last year. Charlotte Uprising plans a week of activities next month on the one year anniversary of the shooting.
CMPD reported there were no arrests at the vigil.