Following Saturday’s violent and deadly gathering of white supremacists and white nationalists in Charlottesville, local groups that helped organize elements of Saturday’s counter-protest echo the call made by the Movement for Black Lives to organize this weekend in every corner of this country:
We ask Americans to march this weekend to demand the removal of all Confederate statues and other symbols of white supremacy that haunt our nation. These monuments normalize the poisonous hatred and violence we witnessed in Charlottesville and serve as a beacon to violent white supremacists. Maintaining these monuments to the white supremacist confederacy created to preserve slavery – using public funds, in public spaces – causes irreparable harm to our city, to our state, and to our nation. Removing them is a first step toward reconciliation and making material changes to systems of white supremacy, and toward ensuring the safety of our communities.
We have been both heartbroken by the violence visited on our community and inspired by the ways in which the country has responded. Charlottesville continues to live under the specter of white supremacists who are waging a war of intimidation and violence by maintaining a presence in our town. As communities across the country assess how to best show up in this moment, we encourage local elected officials and decision-makers to trust community activists – as we wish our City Council had when we warned them about the threat of this avoidable violence weeks ago.
As we care for one another, we continue to be inspired by the acts of resistance in Charlottesville that are fanning the flames of freedom across the country. We hope that, as in Charlottesville, organizing to remove symbols of hate will be an opportunity for other communities to continue building power to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms. We will harness momentum in this moment of mobilization, this strength of solidarity, this righteous outrage, to make real and systemic change to end racial oppression, in Charlottesville and across America.