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Tallahassee: 400 stand in solidarity with Charlottesville

By Regina Joseph

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Tallahassee, FL — On August 13, over 400 students and community members rallied on the steps of Tallahassee’s historic Old Capitol building in solidarity with the victims of white supremacist terror in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“On Saturday August 12, an anti-fascist protest in Charlottesville was attacked by neo-Nazis, murdering 32-year-old protester Heather Heyer and injuring 30 others. During the protest, the white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. accelerated his car into the crowd. This is a wake-up call; the far-right is dangerous and is carrying out violent terrorist attacks,” read a statement by Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

The protesters chanted in the rain, “Charlottesville means, we got to fight back!” and “No hate! No bigotry! End white supremacy!”

“It was important to show up tonight because these white supremacists already have the upper hand on us. They have organization, they have power, they have political structure. We need to show them their days are numbered. We need to show them we have a militant resistance to them,” said Maddie Hen, a member of SDS.

Protesters held signs reading, “From Charlottesville to Gaza, stop fascism,” “White silence is violence,” and “Punch Nazis.”

Satya Stark-Bejnar lead the protesters in song, It Could Have Been Me, But Instead It was You and Step by Step the Longest March. Bejnar then led a short moment of silence for Heather Heyer — the woman murdered by white supremacist James Alex Field Jr.

The crowd marched down College Avenue to the Francis Eppes statue on Florida State University campus. Katherine Draken explained, “The Francis Eppes statue is as much a symbol of racism as the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville. Both honor people who upheld slavery and provide figureheads for white supremacists to rally around. We need to remove these symbols of hate and remember the victims of slavery and genocide, not the perpetrators.”

At the end of the protest, the organizers of the event urged protesters to continue the fight against white supremacy. A tradition of Tallahassee SDS, the rally ended with the quote by Assata Shakur that begins, “We have a duty to fight for our freedom.”

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