Hundreds gathered in front of confederate statue to decry hate, racisms, and the violence in Virginia that has roiled the nation
Taya Graham: This is Taya Graham reporting for the Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland. The chaos of Charlottesville, Virginia translated into peaceful protests here in Baltimore City. Many gathered today in front of a Confederate statue in Wyman Park to show solidarity for all those counter-protestors who were injured and even killed by the alt-right neo-Nazi protest movement. We have people here from Black Lives Matter. We have people supporting trans rights. We have people supporting civil rights. We have people supporting the consent decree. All of Baltimore is showing its solidarity, its strength, and its desire for change here. Crowd: No hate. No fear. Black lives matter here. No hate. No fear. Black lives matter here. [Repeats] Lawrence Brown: Don’t get caught up and too excited over just a symbol. What can we do to dismantle systems? That’s our challenge today. I challenge each and every one of you. We’re going to have a tent city in collaboration with Baltimore’s SCLC at City Hall beginning tomorrow. We’re going to challenge the gun possession mandatory minimum. We’re going to challenge Baltimore apartheid. We’re going to challenge the lack of jobs in our city. We’re going to challenge the way that our school systems do not give fair funding for black students. Speaker: Whatever the Trump administration is for, we should be against. The Trump administration is for racism, we should be for racial unity. It’s the Trump administration’s homophobic, transphobic, whatever kind of phobic. We should be with them. If the Trump administration is anti-choice, we should be pro-choice. If the Trump administration tells you there’s no such thing as global warming, we should tell them there is such a thing as global warming. Whatever our enemy doesn’t like, we should– Speaker: I am so pissed off from what I seen yesterday. To see our President not condemning what was clearly displayed for the whole world … We just become, more and more it’s like a soap opera unfolding to the world. We’ve got to understand that this is not a soap opera. This is the real world, these are real people, and that type of sentiments that were displayed yesterday and the behavior, it’s totally unacceptable. Taya Graham: Do you really think it’s a matter of funding that these Confederate statues haven’t been taking down in a majority of African-American cities? Shouldn’t this process be expedited? Marvin ‘Doc’ Cheatham: It should have been expedited long ago. It shows that we unfortunately have African-American leaders who aren’t really looking after the best interests of their own community. Destiny: What’s going on in Charlottesville is just wrong and it’s inhumane. I just wanted to come and stand up for [anti-blackness], anti-racism. Ray Baker: Here in Baltimore where I live, this is the place where people of like mind our congregating to show their solidarity, their opposition to those who want to reinvigorate the spirit of the Confederate States of America. Mike Moscowitz: I’m here because I’m from the South. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. As somebody who cares about humanity, and is scared as a Jew, and one who’s recognizable as a Jew, I feel the obligation to get out and have a voice, and to provide a little bit of solidarity and support, and amplify the voice of so many that feel alone and threatened and scared. Taya Graham: Down in Charlottesville, not only were there racist remarks, but there were antisemitic remarks. What do you think the Trump administration should have done in response to the remarks and the gathering that occurred? Mike Moscowitz: I think that there needed to be a very clear message of right and wrong, and distinguishing those who come peacefully, and to exercise their right of expression, and for those who come with a malicious intent to provide fear and violence. I think the lack of clarity provides that space in that void for more hate and more crimes because there isn’t that fear that the government is going to be there to protect people who are vulnerable. Lester Spence: We’re in a really unique moment globally, not just in America. It’s important to understand that this isn’t 1919. This isn’t the red summer of almost a hundred years ago where in dozens of cities in the United States, whites, often working class whites, basically engaged in race riots against blacks, taking people’s homes, ejecting people from their homes, brutalizing and killing them, et cetera. This isn’t that moment.