Check Out These Emotional Photos and Videos of Anti-Racism Protesters Showing Up Against White Nationalists

More people are out in the streets to protest white supremacy than to defend it.

Demonstrators against racism march Sunday along city streets as they mark the anniversary of last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Steve Helber/AP

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It’s been one year since tiki-torch-carrying neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, and an alleged white nationalist barreled his car into a 32-year-old anti-racist protester named Heather Heyer, taking her life and injuring 19 others. To mark the anniversary, white nationalists are preparing to gather today in Washington, DC, for their second annual Unite the Right rally. But in the capital and in Charlottesville, they are expected to be significantly outnumbered by counterdemonstrators protesting racial hatred.

Anti-racism protesters march Sunday in Charlottesville. 

Steve Helber/AP

On Sunday morning in Charlottesville, hundreds of people came out to honor the life of Heyer, gathering at the intersection where she was killed a year ago. One powerful video shows an African American woman leading a procession down the street, singing a variation of a freedom song that was used during the civil rights movement.

Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, joined the gathering holding flowers for her daughter’s memorial. She broke into tears as she addressed the group of supporters. “This was not all about Heather,” Bro said, recalling those who were injured in the car attack and others who are killed around the country during acts of racial violence that are not documented in headlines. “The world went crazy when Heather lost her life, and that’s not fair because so many mothers lose their children every day, and we have to fix that. We have to fix that. I don’t want other mothers to be in my spot.”

A couple embrace Sunday as they participate in prayers at the intersection where Heather Heyer was killed.

Steve Helber/AP

The protests began Saturday when students demonstrated at the University of Virginia, where the white nationalists first marched last year. 

A protester at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville

Cory Clark/NurPhoto/Sipa USA

The white nationalist rally last year was organized in response to theCharlottesville city council’s decision to remove a Confederate monument from a park. President Donald Trump addressed the Charlottesville clash at the time by saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of the protest, and he condemned the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.” This year, white nationalists are holding another Unite the Right event, which they have billed as a white civil rights rally, in front of the White House at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC. There was a heavy police presence assembled to escort organizer Jason Kessler to the event.

Kessler said he expects 100 to 400 people to attend the rally, a showing that will likely be dwarfed by the thousands of counterdemonstrators who have filled Washington’s streets in the hours leading up to it. Many counterdemonstrators gathered in the city’s Freedom Plaza bearing signs condemning white supremacy.


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