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Home / US / Anti-racist demonstrators and activists march through the streets of Charlottesville

Anti-racist demonstrators and activists march through the streets of Charlottesville

1; Confusion over an extraordinary police presence on the anniversary of a violent and deadly white nationalist rally On Saturday night, hundreds of black-clad demonstrators parading through the streets around the University of Virginia marched, shouted at the police and demanded an end to white supremacy.

The protesters gathered around the historic rotunda, where a year ago white racists shouted anti-Semitic slogans and carried torches and chanted their own slogans – against the police, against white supremacy and against the University of Virginia. 19659007] "Last year they came with torches," said a large banner in front of a memorial by Thomas Jefferson. "This year they come with badges."

The mood in the crowd began to change as the speakers addressed a large crowd outside Brooks Hall, with dozens of policemen lined up in battle gear on one side of the field. Many of the demonstrators called the police action a provocation-another symbol, they said, of over-demanding America-and began chanting officers holding shields and wearing helmets.

"It's really hard to defend our civil society when [police] do that," said a demonstrator, Tom Freeman. "They just came to us without provocation, nothing, just everything they say about them, and I'm not even an anti-police person."

A year ago, Charlottesville police were outnumbered and poorly prepared for the White Nationalists Association the streets of the picturesque University City, dozens injured and a counter prototer dead. Two Virginia police officers who had been watching the events of the day were killed when their helicopter crashed. A later report, later commissioned by the city, attributed the "catastrophic results" to the Charlottesville Police Department for their response to the events.

March protesters at the University of Virginia, before the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville 2017 "Unite The Right" protests in Charlottesville on August 11, 2018. (LUCAS JACKSON / Reuters)

On the first anniversary of this rally, held in America Another painful reckoning with racism and hatred, the police were neither numerically nor inferior inferiorly prepared. Indeed, they were inevitable all Saturday, blocking roads, sealed entrances into the city center, more than a thousand strong, on a day when a white supremacy event was not planned but definitely dreaded.

In a city that is already divided over how violently it should confront historical and institutional racism caused only by the unrest of the last Year, there was little consensus on how to understand the contrast between last year and this year. Some described the presence of felons as a difficult necessity to ensure that everyone was safe. Others said the police did not make her feel safe. And yet others saw a racist disparity in the representation of state power.

"I see a disproportionality," said Lisa Woolfork, a U-Va. Professor and activist at Charlottesville Black Lives Matter. "Unless there is something they do not tell us and have a certain intelligence that white nationalists will still march, it seems they are preparing to supervise and observe and discipline fascism and racism . "

Protesters march on August 11, 2018 in the Lambeth Field at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. (19659017) Fascism and racism: It was almost everything you talked about on Saturday. In the streets of downtown, people discussed what these forces are in America and what they are in Charlottesville.

A cake sold at a bakery said, "NO HOME."

A plaque said, "May God watch over our citizens this weekend."

A poster at the impromptu memorial, where a car fell on a group of demonstrators last year, killed Heather Heyer, simply said, " Heather. "

A banner held to the front of dozens of Antifa members who had come from chapters across the country said," Good night, White Pride. "

And the president of the University of Virginia said for the first time, "I'm sorry" according to the Daily Progress, which last year tried to pay for the Tiki torch march on the grounds of the university , which led to injuries under the counter-protests.

The whole thing was terrible for business. About half of downtown's shops were closed on Saturday, and some that were open could not be. At the bottom of a barricaded lane and down the stairs, a store clerk named Jinny Cowgill glanced over an empty vintage shop, Low, and chatted with a friend. It was around noon, and usually customers came and went, but the shop had not seen a single buyer.

"You've heard of food deserts – it's like a business desert," said girlfriend Carolyn Burgess. " , , Last year we were terrorized by the KKK, and this year we are being terrorized by the police. "

" It's a great line, "Cowgill replied," but I do not feel terrorized. "

" I feel like I'm under martial law, "Burgess said.

The pedestrian street in downtown, where last Year Unite the Right Rally and counter-protesters violently clash University campus, where white racists called racial slurs, felt transformed into a heavily guarded police zone of checkpoints and metal detectors, fencing and barricades.

Each access point was closed except for two suitcases They had to be searched before they could get in. Nearby was a list of prohibited items, including glass bottles, axes, swords, skateboards, drones, and "any other device considered a riot."

"What's that?" An officer suspiciously asked a man who tried as she rummaged through his bag.

"A nerf football," he replied Man, Nic McCarthy.

"No, I was just wondering why there was a hole," said the policeman. and McCarthy just shrugged.

Nearby stood a man named Mike, who refused to give his last name, smoked a cigarette and approved a few beers before he started his next shift at the North American Sake Brewery. He watched the dozens of police around him and said he got angry.

"It's too much," he said. "I've been here all my life, born and raised, and I've never seen that … Because I'm black in America, I do not feel safe by doing so."

At that moment, a tumult roared past him, when 17 policemen escorted a man with a big beard and a T-shirt to the exit of the shopping center in the city center. Soon, the police formed a perimeter around him, 35 of them, and they took two handguns from him. John Miska was arrested, not because of the weapons – wearing it open was allowed – but for other banned items he carried, the police said. The Daily Progress reported that Miska, a veteran advocate, had brought his goers to CVS, where he bought two cases of Arizona ice tea, a razor blade, and other items.

He was one of two arrests the police reported late Saturday afternoon. The other was charged with trespassing.

Mike watched as Miska was taken away, then stuck out his cigarette. He had to go. His shift began in a few minutes and, white racists or not, police or not, he had to live his life as he always had.

Hours later, at the University of Virginia, protesters took that feeling of discomfort and made it action, marching along Rugby Road in a long line. Many were members of the Antifa, and they carried signs that condemned the university and the police along with white racists. They chanted and marched as night fell and police cars shot past and a helicopter hovered over them.

"It's important to show white nationalists or racists that we do not like it," said student Ameenah Elam, 21. She said The racist protests last year were an indication of deeper cultures of discrimination at the university and in Charlottesville. "That's a lot more happening than just last year … The story [of racism] in Charlottesville goes much deeper than on August 12 last year."

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