August 13, 2017 at 10:37 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
White House protesters condemn Charlottesville white supremacist rally

A protester marches through downtown Washington on Aug. 13, 2017. Thousands of people gathered in front of the White House earlier in the day to condemn a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
(Washington Blade photo by Helen Parshall)

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 center 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 are 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.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • BigGaySteve

    It wasn’t a white supremacy rally, the local organizer Jason Kessler is jewish.& a former occupy wall street activist.

  • Joe Moore

    I don’t condemn the group that was protesting with a permit. They were protesting the removal of Confederate Statues, and not there to promote white supremacy. I condemn those who didn’t have a permit and were protesting the protesters and had violence on their minds. I also condemn the Charlottesville City Government. I am a Native Virginian and I hold Robert E. Lee and the other Confederate leaders in the highest regard. The idiots who are removing Confederate Memorabilia are too lazy to research the history of these fine people. Most of them were opposed to slavery, and Robert E. Lee freed his slaves years before the war. Abraham Lincoln was a white supremacist and stated in a debate that he thought the white race was the superior race. Ulysses S. Grant supported slavery by selling his slaves instead of freeing them. General Beauregard of Louisiana was opposed to slavery, and fought for the equal rights of blacks after the war. He didn’t win that battle though. You nitwitted ignorant numbskulls need to get your facts straight. The Confederate flag and Confederate Memorabilia are not symbols of racism as touted by the media, ignorant and stupid politicians, ignorant and stupid liberal groups like ACLU, and the hate promoting BLM, BP, NAACP, and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

  • EastCoastJ

    Lavers needs to go home to gay-friendly lily-white New Hampshire.

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