Charlottesville, VA – Charlottesville residents will confront the KKK in its city-sanctioned rally at Justice Park on Saturday, July 8th. They will hold a #BlocKKKParty to show the vibrancy of collective energy to resist intimidation and initiate change. This action is one step in a larger campaign to make reparations for the city’s history of racist terror and abuse. In facing these racist terrorists, local activists demand an end to Charlottesville policies and practices that target people of color and uphold white supremacy.
What: Community #BlocKKKParty to confront the KKK
Who: Charlottesville residents, local activists
When: Saturday, July 8, at 2pm
Where: Justice Park
Visuals: Seven paper crane signs affirming Black lives matter; three banners reading “Black lives matter,” “BlocKKK Party,” and “Charlottesville Summer of Resistance,” and one large banner with the list of demands (below)
As goes Charlottesville, so goes the nation. For more than a year, Charlottesville has been disturbed by the growth of “alt-right” white supremacist organizations, whose area members have threatened and assaulted people in our community. Fueled by the election of President Trump and the support of white supremacists such as Richard Spencer, these hateful groups have organized and expanded in Charlottesville, as evident in their May 13 Klan-like nighttime torch-lit rally.
The choice to confront these groups, including the Klan, is a strategy based on historical fact: ignoring the Klan is precisely what allowed them to terrorize and murder at their height in the 1920s. Ignoring new white supremacist groups in our present day has contributed to their gain in political power and to waves of harassment and violence nationwide. We honor the memory of Ebony Morgan, Nabra Hassanen, and Richard Collins III, three youth recently murdered in three acts of white supremacist violence. The KKK, like other white supremacist groups, advocates such violence against people who are Black, Latinx, Muslim, Jewish, queer, transgender, or otherwise threaten their pursuit of a White Christian nation.
Local activists will present the following demands to Mayor Signer and the City of Charlottesville during the #BlocKKKParty:
- Revoke the permit for the August 12 “Unite the Right March on Charlottesville” and grant a permit for the Carnival de Resistance.
- Remove the Lee and Jackson statues, now.
- Fulfill the “Positive Vision of Resident Directed Redevelopment” from the Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents.
- Drop the charges against Veronica Fitzhugh.
- Apologize publicly for negligence in Sage Smith’s disappearance, and commit to an expansion of the investigation.
- Cease the targeting of Black families by social services to send children into foster care.
- End JADE (Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement militarized police unit).
- End money bail, and release people being held without bond before their trial.
- Stop discriminatory stop-and-frisk.
Local activists assert that the August 12 “Unite the Right March on Charlottesville” must also be confronted and disavowed as part of a larger campaign for racial justice. These newer white supremacist groups are no different from the KKK. Activists ask Charlottesville leadership to take seriously the threat of Klan-like terrorism and the rise of white nationalism here and throughout the country.
For further reading:
- Jalane Schmidt, “Excuse me, America, Your House is On Fire: Lessons from Charlottesville on the KKK and ‘Alt-Right’”, Medium
- David Vaughn Straughn, “We Must Face The Klan”, Medium
- Southern Poverty Law Center, “Alternative Right”, splc.org
- Emily Gorcenski, “No, the White Supremacists Aren’t Looking for Attention,” Medium
- Danielle Paquette, “The Alt-Right Isn’t Only About White Supremacy. It’s About White Male Supremacy”, Chicago Tribune
- Natasha Lennard, “Anti-Fascists Will Fight Trump’s Fascism in the Streets”, The Nation
- Matthew Sheffield, “Anti-Fascist Radicals: Liberals Don’t Realize the Serious Danger of the Alt-Right”, Salon
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