US: Thousands of people gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to protest the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned deadly.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, and others who spoke outside the White House sharply criticized President Trump’s response to the rally that took place on Saturday. They also described the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was mowed down by a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields, Jr., 21, of Maumee, Ohio, as an act of terrorism.
Two Virginia State Police officers died a few hours later when their helicopter crashed outside Charlottesville.
Hundreds of white supremacists on Friday marched through the University of Virginia campus with torches. They clashed with counter-protesters throughout the weekend.
Those who gathered outside the White House marched to a statute of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike near Judiciary Square. They chanted “tear it down” and “Black lives matter” as they gathered around the monument.
Marches and other events took place in New York, Chicago, Seattle and hundreds of other cities across the U.S. and Canada on Sunday. The Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force and Equality Virginia are among the LGBT advocacy groups that have condemned the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
“Racist violence is as old as America,” said Lambda Legal CEO Rachel Tiven in a statement she released on Sunday. At the centre of our struggle as a nation, there has always been a battle between subjugation based on white supremacy and ideals of equality of justice for all. The racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic views so boldly on display this weekend is a cancer on our society.”
“Donald Trump has encouraged and invited bigotry in many forms and has refused to condemn domestic hate crimes and terrorism when the perpetrators were white,” she added. “His inability to condemn yesterday’s murderous attack on anti-racist protestors is not surprising given the reality that the Trump administration has become a haven for people sympathetic to or, at a minimum, apologists for the kinds of groups that brought terror to the streets of Charlottesville this weekend.”