NORTHAMPTON, MA – From Trump Tower in New York to North Hampton City Hall, rallies were held Sunday night in response to the violence connected to a “Unite the Right” march by white nationalist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Eric Bauer, an organizer with Massachusetts Jobs for Justice, said he was at the Sunday night rally to send a message that the US President should not be allowed to straddle both sides of the fence when it comes to Nazis and racists. He said that’s particularly true following the death of one and injury of many counter protesters in Charlottesville.
“Donald Trump said, ‘Both sides are culpable,’ and we want to shine a light on the fact that there’s really only one side to racism, right? There’s racism and there’s inclusivity,” Bauer said. “And we want to make sure that folks in Massachusetts show solidarity with what’s happened in Charlottesville.”
Trump’s remarks garnered strong criticism from key members of his own party, including Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who said the nation “needs to call evil by by its name.” Soon after, the White House issued a revised response, saying that the President’s earlier condemnation “includes white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups,” which the president himself had not mentioned.
Bauer said some of the people who went to Charlottesville to oppose the “Take America Back” march are now facing legal consequences. He said the Sunday vigil also was held to call attention to a fundraising effort for their defense.
“White nationalists and neo-Nazi organizations are charging some of the counter-protesters with assault and things like that,” he said. “We want to make sure that they have legal defenses for their court cases and to make sure they’re properly represented.”
On the online site Fundly, the “Solidarity Cville Anti-Racist Legal Fund” has already met its $50,000 fundraising goal almost three times over. Bauer said the group will be reaching out to others, like Black Lives Matter and Showing Up For Racial Justice, to continue the fundraising momentum.