Utica, New York – One hundred fifty local residents converged on the Oneida Square Roundabout Sunday afternoon to denounce a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va., that spiraled into deadly violence, one of many similar demonstrations occurring across the U.S.
Sponsored by the Central New York Citizens in Action, Citizen Action of New York, and Indivisible Mohawk Valley, people carried signs with slogans excoriating President Donald Trump and condemning racism and xenophobia. Protesters also chanted that racism and bigotry are not tolerated in Utica.
The man arrested for ramming a car into a crowd of peaceful activists protesting the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va.— killing one person and injuring 19 —is reported for having long espoused extremist Nazi views and had been with white supremacists hours before Saturday’s bloody crash.
Many residents were appalled that President Trump did not explicitly condemn the KKK, white supremacist and Neo-Nazi groups for their ideology after Saturday’s violence, thus, giving legitimacy to the groups’ hateful message. Organizers indicated that they are planning another demonstration later this week and will soon provide more details.
Jen DeWeerth said: “We were very pleased with the positive response from hundreds of motorists on Genesee Street today. One after the other, they honked and cheered in support of our peaceful protest and our message that white supremacy does not belong in our community. Clearly, in the Mohawk Valley, we stand together, one community, indivisible against hatred and racist violence.”
John Furman, President of the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., said: “As we stand with Charlottesville, we must look to our own community, where we can make progress on advancing racial equity and repairing our relationship to our country’s history. This fall we will begin our campaign to reestablish the human relations commission to fight racism, bigotry, and discrimination. We grieve with the community of Charlottesville as it copes with the terror of yesterday’s events and the loss of innocent life. We recommit ourselves to the fight to dismantle white supremacy in our community and in our country. We stand together in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville.”