Local group gathers to stand in solidarity with Charlottesville

Little Rock groups gather in support of Charlottesville

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Little Rock is among many places across the country to hold political rallies and memorial vigils because of Charlottesville unrest.

Indivisible Little Rock and Central Arkansas gathered Sunday not far from the offices of Congressman French Hill. Close to 40 people turned out on University Avenue to stand in solidarity with Charlottesville. Many blame the nation's current political climate for what happened.

“People's lives are being lost, over what,” asked Terrie Root, one of the group’s leaders.

“There are no all sides to this issue, and sadly a lot of these racists are home grown,” Laura Hardy said.

It's been over 24 hours since chaos broke out in the small Virginia college town.

"I hate to say it but I feel like our President has encouraged this because he hasn't stood up against bullies,” said Donna Drury.

Dozens answered the call in Little Rock Sunday to confront the deadly violence from this weekend when White nationalist groups clashed with counter-protesters.

"I've expected something like this to happen ever since 45 was elected President,” Root said.

Indivisible Little Rock is one of many groups that formed in the wake of last year's elections. They join others here and across the country hoping to send a different message with their actions.

“As we move on and move away from the things that divided us, that caused these relics to be important in the first place, we have to realize their significance is not what it used to be,” said Root referring to the controversial confederate statue that started the incident.

“We've always had a problem but it's been a hidden problem. Now these people have been emboldened to a degree that is really frightening to the future of our country,” Hardy said.

With more rain than shine, organizers were still pretty satisfied with the turnout. They feel its someone’s responsibility to stand up for those they think have been mistreated. 

“When I looked at the newspaper today and saw those picture of mob torches, it brought me back to a history that we all want to get away from. It brought me back to some of the darkest days in our country,” James Gilson said.

Those memories have him frightened and concerned for what’s to come. 

“I know that there are closed minded people. There are people out there that think like those who had torches last night,” said Gilson.

Members of the group want to hear something more forceful from President Trump. They said if he doesn't send a different message soon, they fear another and perhaps worse incident will happen somewhere else.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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