The streets of Charlottesville may be calm today compared to the chaos that broke out yesterday after a white supremacist rally turned violent. But they’re still not safe – not safe enough, at least, for mourners of Heather Heyer to gather and celebrate her life, which ended tragically Saturday after an alt-right terrorist drove his car into a crowd if protesters.
That’s the conclusion that Solidarity C’Ville has come to, the group that had organized tonight’s candlelight vigil. The event was to take place on the University of Virginia campus, but they’ve decided to cancel because “A credible threat from white supremacists created a situation wherein we could no longer guarantee the safety of those who attended.”
Solidarity C’Ville will follow through with the program of speakers at the campus venue, but rather than risk the safety of mourners expected to attend in the thousands, speeches and prayers will be broadcast on Facebook Live.
That hasn’t stopped supporters and others who refuse to surrender to threats by white nationalist groups from showing up to the vigil, as this video clearly shows.
The vigil may have been cancelled, but people aren't leaving the spot where #HeatherHeyer was killed. pic.twitter.com/zTkOvqkfP4
— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel_) August 13, 2017
Bravo to all who have defied the cowardly threats by these hate groups and showed-up anyway.
Still, it’s difficult to imagine that in America, in 2017, mourners would be discouraged from gathering in peace to remember a fallen hero out of fear for their lives. But when the President on the United States refuses to condemn White supremacist violence, those groups think they can act with impunity.
You can read the statement issued by Solidarity C’Ville below.
This evening’s candlelight vigil in remembrance of Heather Heyer scheduled to begin at 6pm the Rotunda at UVA has been canceled and moved to Facebook live. The livestream program will feature local activists and clergy members. Organizers intend to hold a space for remembrance at a later date.
This event was designed to be a safe space for Charlottesville residents to gather, grieve, and support one another. A credible threat from white supremacists created a situation wherein we could no longer guarantee the safety of those who attended.
Various groups may be mobilizing around the city tonight to show their love for Heather, Solidarity C’Ville support them in doing so. Solidarity C’Ville intend on holding another event in the near future.
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