A “White Civil Rights Rally” is set to take place at Lafayette Park near the White House on Aug. 12, and the Washington, D.C., Black Lives Matter branch is having none of it.
The organization is planning to hold a counter-protest in collaboration with Shut It Down DC, The Root reports.
If the date of the event stands out to you, it’s probably because it is the one year anniversary of the deadly “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally that was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
“We are calling all anti-fascists and people of good conscience to participate in international days of action August 10 through August 12 and a mass mobilization in Washington, D.C.,” a note on Shut It Down DC’s website reads. “This is for Heather Heyer, Corey Long, Deandre Harris, ICE abolition, open borders, dismantling the prison industrial complex and ending the settler colonial system. We will confront fascism, antisemitism, islamophobia, white supremacy and state violence on August 10-12.”
Heather Heyer, Corey Long, and Deandre Harris were all victims of vicious violence at last year’s rally. Heyer was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters; Harris was brutally beaten, and Long was shot at.
Needless to say, holding another alt-right event on this day is a slap in the face to Heyer and all of the victims who endured physical attacks last year.
The rally was announced last month after the National Park Service approved an application for it to take place at Lafayette Square. White nationalist leader Jason Kessler — who organized the Unite the Right rally — is also orchestrating the upcoming Washington, D.C. event.
“This year we have a new purpose,” Kessler said of the demonstration ahead. “That’s to talk about the civil rights abuse that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.”
Although Black Lives Matter plans to counter-protest, they are taking measures to prevent a repeat of last year’s chaos by holding training classes for people planning to attend so they can remain safe.
“We are stronger than they are, that they are resistant to change and to progress that Black Lives Matter has been doing over the last four years with black liberation and fighting racism and fascism,” Black Lives Matter DC’s Makia Green told Fox5DC. “So it’s important that we let D.C. and rest of the world know that we are not going to stand for the hate.”
Freedom of speech and peaceful assembly may be constitutionally protected, but when your speech is filled with disgusting and racist vitriol, you can expect that activists will come out in droves to counteract your problematic messaging in an effort to prevent the radicalization of impressionable minds and today's youth.
The world needs to see that there are more people who choose love and unity in America than those who choose hate.