Action Opportunity: Defend Charlottesville

This Saturday August 12th, several alt-right and white nationalist groups are descending
on Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” rally.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Unite the Right” is expected to “draw a broad spectrum of far-right extremist groups – from immigration foes to anti-Semitic bigots, neo-Confederates, Proud Boys, Patriot and militia types, outlaw bikers, swastika-wearing neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members – all of whom seem emboldened by the Trump presidency.”

This is the second hate-gathering in Charlottesville this summer in response to the removal of a Confederate statue. SPLC is also naming this the largest hate-gathering in decades in the United States.

The Peace Center encourages participation in Charlottesville’s community gatherings for justice and inclusion this weekend. SURJ Charlottesville, Congregate Charlottesville, Charlottesville Clergy Collective and other groups are organizing actively.

There are a number of different ways to take part in standing together for justice.

Below you will find information on several efforts.

Note that the situation is evolving rapidly. There may be some risk of violence, particularly in Emancipation Park on August 12.  We encourage all who go to join one or more organized efforts, take care of one another, and pay attention to announcements. 

Stand Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) Charlottesville:
SURJ’s mission is to work to take responsibility for educating & organizing white people to engage in movements for racial justice and to help white folks prepare themselves to follow the leadership of people of color-led movements for racial justice. In this time, SURJ is calling white folks to plug into the work in solidarity with these other groups in Charlottesville. Use this form to join SURJ in resistance work so they can determine how best to plug you in: https://goo.gl/forms/ZXVRqCptgm3T9sVy2

Stay updated through this Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1944849539086464/

For anything not covered through the form please contact or if you have any other questions email: defend.cville@protonmail.com

There is also a website with even more information and contacts: solidaritycville.com

For rides to Charlottesville from Richmond email SURJ Richmond at: SURJrides@gmail.com

Congregate Charlottesville:
This group has put out a national call for clergy and people of faith to fill Charlottesville with their message of love and justice for all on August 12th. They are being supported and promoted locally by Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. Training events are being held July 26th and August 11th in Charlottesville. They encourage people to arrive by midday on Friday, August 11th, and stay through the afternoon on Sunday, August 13th. Among the planned activities is a Friday evening Mass Prayer Meeting and a 6 a.m. “LoveOverHate Sunrise Service.”

If you plan to participate or would like to get involved–whether you are a faith leader or not–visit: congregatecville.com. They will contact you with more details.

Stay updated through this Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1981162202104023/

For more information on VICPP’s work and an event schedule visit: www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/can-respond-saturdays-hate-speech-charlottesville/

Charlottesville Clergy Collective:

The Charlottesville Clergy Collective is a group of clergy and interested lay persons who gather regularly to address the challenge of race relations in the Charlottesville and Albemarle region of Virginia.

For a list of activities organized and supported by the Charlottesville Clergy Collective in response to the alt-right gathering, see:  cvilleclergycollective.org

Among their planned activities is an 8 a.m. parade Saturday from Jefferson School to McGuffey Park and First United Methodist.

Note: Charlottesville city officials have announced that the “Unite the Right” rally must be relocated from Emancipation Park to McIntire Park. The Alt-Right organizers are contesting this change. Please look out for updates from organizers and the city regarding the day’s logistics.

#NoNewKKK