MINNEAPOLIS - All over the Twin Cities, people are standing together in solidarity with the victims, and against the racism, of the Charlottesville violence.
Hundreds of people gathered for one of the biggest gatherings in the metro on the northwest edge of Bde Maka Ska, also known as Lake Calhoun, Sunday evening. The vigil started at 8:22 p.m., which was sunset.
“We have to love the truth enough to call out hate when we see it," said Pastor DeWayne Davis of All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church in Minneapolis. "To say that it is violence and racism and white supremacy and yes, domestic terrorism."
The candlelight vigil hosted several speakers near the ball field by the lake. Organizer Johan Baumeister says he's not a part of any group, he just felt the urge to plan a vigil supporting the victims in Charlottesville.
He says he was expecting a small group, and was surprised to see more than 900 people RSVP to his Facebook event.
"I think people have started to wake up to the idea that racism is still a really big problem and that both systemic and overt racism like we saw yesterday in Charlottesville need to be confronted," Baumeister said.
Several other vigils took place Sunday evening, including one at Kelley Park in Apple Valley.
“We know that the racism that was displayed in Charlotte was not just located in Charlotte. It’s everywhere," said Rep. Erin Maye Quade (DFL-Apple Valley). "We’ve had it here in Minnesota with the mosque attack, Islamic cemetery vandalism, we had death threats to Jewish community centers."
"Hate isn't our community and we want to make sure that love is shown, as well,” said Renita Fisher, vice chair of Stand Up Minnesota.
As residents gather to process and stand up for the victims of the violence in Virginia, politicians in Minnesota are speaking out about what happened in Charlottesville.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar said:
"Today we grieve and pray for the people of Charlottesville and the victims of the violence, including the families of the woman who was killed and the police officers who died in the helicopter crash as they were called into action.
But we also grieve and pray for our country. Because in the year 2017, we still have neo-Nazis and white nationalists spouting racism and inciting violence. This is inimical to everything we stand for."
And Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan said,
"Racism, hatred, violence and terrorism are unacceptable on any level. As Americans, yes, we should absolutely and resolutely stand-up and speak-out against it. What happened in Virginia is horrific and unacceptable."
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