Syracuse joined cities in several other states holding a vigil to speak out against the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia…and against the violence it ignited. Several hundred people gathered at the Jerry Rescue monument in Clinton Square Sunday night.
Many said they could not let the Charlottesville gathering and the hate it represented go unchecked. Herve Comeau was frightened by what he saw in media coverage there.
“Seeing men in hoods parade in down the street, seeing with torches walk down the street, Nazis openly throwing up ‘heil Hitlers’ on the street, it’s terrifying for a person of color. I was scared and heart-broken because for every one of them that’s walking I feel there should be 10-thousand people marching against them…and there wasn’t.”
was one of the organizers, which included local groups such as Black Lives Matter, the Southwest Community Center, and other peace and community groups. Kathy Wool heard people ready to ignore the incident…but she couldn’t.
“You can’t do that; it doesn’t solve any problem. If people don’t come out and make it know that they don’t support that kind of hate, I guess, then it’s going to flourish. It isn’t just going to go away because it’s ignored, so that’s why I came out today.”
In addition to chants and music, speakers spoke out against police violence and some of President Trump’s vague messages about the white supremacist rally in Virginia. Some also said the vigil was not about ‘black lives’, but about not staying quiet against ongoing racism. The rally lasted about an hour and a half…and at times passers-by shouted their disapproval. Comeau took comfort in knowing others were also speaking out.
"We aren’t alone. All across the country there are people engaged in vigils and rallies. They’re trying to fight back; they’re trying to be heard, to be seen. They’re trying to continue this fight for civil rights, for racial equality, that we’ve been engaged in for several hundred years.”
There were similar rallies in Rochester, Utica and Albany. Gatherings in Seattle and Washington D.C. also drew significant shouting and opposition.