trigger warning: non-graphic discussion of violence, injury, death, terror attack
This Saturday, protesters gathered for a counter-demonstration against the white nationalist “alt-right” in Charlottesville. Solidarity events were held in Staunton and elsewhere for those unable to attend.
The Charlottesville events converged in a march in the afternoon, with protesters chanting and carrying signs. The mood was exuberant, defiant, even jubilant as hundreds joined together to support racial justice and equality in the face of hatred.
That mood changed to terror when a car rammed into protesters in a hit-and-run that left many injured. The injured were transported to the hospital and police took statements from witnesses. Tragically, one person was murdered in the attack. One of our coordinators was on the scene but was not seriously injured.
Today, we witnessed a terrorist attack that shows the lengths some will go to in the name of hatred and white supremacy. We also witnessed a huge police presence with riot tanks and cops arriving before ambulances and medics. That caused an even greater sense of panic on the streets, the response too focused on force at first and not aid.
However, we also saw the strength of the bystanders, street medics, emergency personnel, those who shouted warnings, and everyone who helped the victims. We saw the power of hundreds of people uniting against hatred, putting their own safety on the line.
We are powerful when we stand together. That power scares these white supremacist terrorists. They want to frighten us — silence us with violence. If you’re scared right now, we are too. But we won’t stop fighting.
In the wake of this, we ask that you:
- Not share photos of the victims or articles containing those photos
- If you share articles with images of blood, violence, etc. please add a content note as this can be triggering to trauma survivors
- Reach out to your support systems — family, friends, etc. — if you’re feeling scared or helpless
- If you are privileged, reach out to your minority friends to check in and let them know you’ve got their backs
- If you witnessed the attack, please contact the authorities to give a statement
- Crisis hotline if you need it: 1-800-273-8255 or 775-784-8090
SAW Action Movement will be holding a vigil for the victims at Men’s Green Thumb Park from 6 – 8 PM.