The article [on] the Mountain Xpress [website, “Community Turns Out for Charlottesville Solidarity Rally at Pack Square,” Aug. 14] doesn’t reflect my experience at the rally on [Aug. 13] night. I haven’t been to many protests, but this felt far from a riot.
Sometimes love is a chant of resistance. Because revolution isn’t a selfish act. Because putting one’s body between neo-Nazis and clergy (http://avl.mx/414) is the right thing to do.
Because being the first on the scene to deliver aid, while the police send in tanks and weapons pointed at the dying, is intensely courageous. (The tanks [in Charlottesville] arrived before the ambulance — let me be very clear.)
I can’t imagine, in a town where the police shot and killed Jerry Williams in the street, why anyone might feel police are unwelcome at an anti-racist rally.
Taking the streets is a demonstration of solidarity. When police corral protesters behind their lines and cars, they are saying to the flag-waving, overly compensating, engine-revers that the protesters are the problem, to be caged in. They give space for the Trump trucks to own the streets.
But whose streets are these? (Our streets!)
No one has more legitimacy to claim this rally than anyone else. Neo-Nazis killed a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, a radical union that seeks to unionize all elements of the working class except the police — an organization founded by anarchists (although ascribing to no political philosophy as an organization now). What I’ve read is that Heather [Heyer] was a Social Democrat, and my understanding is that she died walking alongside comrades from all across the spectrum of the left.
The anarchists I saw at the [Asheville] rally spent a considerable amount of effort advocating that everyone has a different way of mourning and combating neo-Nazi violence (despite the fact that anarchists who were present at the crash were prevented from speaking here).
I don’t know Heather Heyer, but it seems that she was not on the sidelines lighting candles and singing to the alt-right. Light candles for her. Hold hands and remember her name. But let the Antifa take the streets and show solidarity for her, too. There’s room for everyone to counter racist fascists in this town.
— Charlotte Taylor