Hundreds March in Protest on Charlottesville Anniversary at University of Virginia
To commemorate the first anniversary of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, hundreds of University of Virginia students marched in the campus on Saturday.
Last year on August 12, a white supremacist mowed and killed Heather Heyer who was counter-protesting at a Unite the Right rally.
The Rally for Justice organized by the UVA Students United was joined by activists and residents despite a state of emergency imposed by the state officials last week. The protesting students had a brief confrontation with policemen questioning their decision to wear riot gear.
They are not here to protect us They are here to control us When safety is equated with controlThe police will always reignAnd when the police reign so does a permanent state of terrorIn such a world A world that looks like thisBehind every moment is a threatTheir threat is made of cuffs, cages, chemicals, bullets, and batonsThe threat that we pose is that we might act outside of the walls and flows that preserve the world as it already is That we may demand more than just safety They are afraid that we will embody self determinationAnd that we will begin to organize itThus, undermining their power through the process They are here to control us They are here to control us They are here to control us
Posted by The Living Wage Campaign at UVA on Saturday, August 11, 2018
“Why are you in riot gear? We don’t see no riot here,” an activist was quoted as saying by the CBS News.
The group of students later marched downtown before dispersing peacefully.
“This evening UVA students and Charlottesville community members who intended to reclaim the North Plaza of the Rotunda and demand justice for those who have suffered at the hands of white supremacy arrived to a policing apparatus they did not agree to,” the statement issued by UVA Students United reads.
“Last Year They Came With Torches, This Year They Come with Badges. Cops have a history of violence against anti-racist protestors, as we experienced last year at the KKK rally and saw in the past 10 days in Portland and Berkeley,” the student group said.
The university also organized an event, “The Hope that Summons Us: A Morning of Reflection and Renewal,” on Saturday attended by more than 600 people.
University President James E. Ryan while commending the students and community members who stood against the white supremacists last year said, “It was a remarkable moment of courage and bravery by our students and community members, who stood fast and found themselves, perhaps to their surprise, in a position of appearing to defend the Thomas Jefferson statue from attack.”
The student group has demanded university to bar the entry of identified white supremacists present in the deadly rally last year and waive-off the medical fees for all the survivors.