US rallies condemn politics of hate

Protesters have taken to the streets throughout America, condemning hatred and racism following the Charlottesville violence.

US rallies condemn politics of hate

Protesters have taken to the streets throughout America, condemning hatred and racism following the Charlottesville violence.

The gatherings included a march to Donald Trump's home in New York and candlelight vigils in several cities.

In Seattle, Washington, police made arrests and confiscated weapons as Trump supporters and counter-protesters converged.

Some rallies focused on showing support for the people whom white supremacists condemn and others pushed for the removal of Confederate monuments, the issue that initially prompted white nationalists to gather in anger in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Other events aimed to denounce fascism and a presidential administration that organisers feel has let white supremacists feel empowered.

"People need to wake up, recognise that and resist it as fearlessly as it needs to be done," said Carl Dix, a leader of the Refuse Fascism group organising demonstrations in New York, San Francisco and other cities.

"This can't be allowed to fester and to grow because we've seen what happened in the past when that was allowed."

In Seattle, a rally previously planned for Sunday by the conservative pro-Trump group known as Patriot Prayer drew hundreds of counter-protesters.

A barricade separated the two groups as police officers stood by dressed in black riot gear.

At one junction, police ordered crowds to disperse and the Seattle Times said officers used pepper spray on some marchers.

In Denver, Colorado, several hundred demonstrators gathered beneath a statue of Martin Luther King in City Park and marched about two miles to the state capitol.

James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he rammed his car into a crowd of protesters.
James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he rammed his car into a crowd of protesters.

In Fort Collins, Colorado, marchers chanted: "Everyone is welcome here. No hate, no fear." One demonstrator's sign said, "Make racists ashamed again."

In New York, protesters marched from several locations in Manhattan to Trump Tower, demanding the president denounce white nationalist groups involved in the violent confrontations in Charlottesville. One sign read: "Call out evil."

Helen Rubenstein, 62, was among hundreds of people who marched through downtown Los Angeles.

She said her parents were Holocaust survivors and she was worried extremist views were becoming normal under Mr Trump's presidency.

"I blame Donald Trump 100% because he emboldened all these people to incite hate, and they are now promoting violence and killing," she said.

In Charlottesville, a crowd gathered in the street where the crash happened. They sang Amazing Grace and prayed around piles of flowers that mark the spot where Heather Heyer, 32, was killed.

Prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer, who attended the rally, denied responsibility for the violence and blamed counter-protesters and police.

Mr Trump condemned what he called an "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides", a statement that Democrats and some of the president's fellow Republicans saw as equivocating about who was to blame.

The White House later added that the condemnation "includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups".

AP

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox