Hundreds turn out for counterprotest ahead of ‘Unite the Right 2’ rally

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Hundreds of counterprotesters gathered Sunday on Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., hours ahead of the white nationalist “Unite the Right 2” rally scheduled to take place across the street from the front of the White House.

The “Still Here, Still Strong” rally, organized by a coalition of more than 20 anti-racist and leftist organizations, is designed to avoid direct confrontation with the white supremacist groups who will gather in Lafayette Park around 4 p.m., organizers told The Hill. 

{mosads}”We are coming together in safety, unity and love,” Maurice Cook, an organizer with the March for Racial Justice, told The Hill. “This is for a more engaging, less confrontational opportunity for us to come together.”

“I think this is about us practicing and learning how to communicate and build relationships with one another so that we can fight white supremacy out on the street,” he added. 

The police presence was fairly light as counterprotesters collected across Freedom Plaza, with some demonstrators delivering remarks over speakers and others sitting with anti-Trump and anti-racist signs on the sidelines.

Multiple counterprotesters said they are mobilizing against President Trump as much as they are targeting white nationalist groups.

“Trump is a racist pig” read the T-shirt of a counterprotester holding a sign saying: “Unite the right unites the wrong.”

A group called set up a booth with signs saying: “The Trump/Pence regime must go! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!”

“ exists with the single unifying mission of driving out this regime,” spokeswoman Samantha Goldman told The Hill.

“And when I say drive out, I am talking about sustained, mass nonviolent resistance. It’s not some harebrained idea: Armenia, three months ago; South Korea, two years ago; Egypt before that,” she said.

She noted that although she is pleased there are hundreds who turned out on Sunday, she thinks there should be thousands.

Activists speaking from a stage at the far end of the plaza were surrounded by protesters holding signs running the gamut from “Humanists against hate” to “Uproot white supremacy” to “Make racists afraid again.”

“Black Lives Matter is working to exemplify the world that we live in,” an organizer with Black Lives Matter D.C., identified as Makia, said to a cheering crowd. “D.C. is not a political playground for white supremacist views and ideals. Real people live here.”

“Yeah!” shouted members of the crowd.

“We’re here to confront the white supremacy and will not ignore the hate they incite,” Makia continued. “Ignoring white nationalists never works!”

“When I say ‘rise up,’ you say ‘fight back!’ ” she exclaimed. “Rise up!”

“Fight back!” shouted the crowd in a unified voice.

Updated at 2:03 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump

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