Learn how to help Charlottesville, Virginia, which was the target of neo-Nazi protests that turned deadly this weekend.
In case you missed it or need to catch up, here are some articles on what happened in Charlottesville. In essence, neo-Nazis didn’t just have a routine protest. They tried to have what they saw as a coming-out party for their noxious ideas. Many showed up to counter-protest:
The site of the Unite the Right rally was chosen to protest the recent decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The area where it stands was recently renamed Emancipation Park. (The statue is still there but will be sold.)
We will give specifics on how to help the people in Charlottesville shortly, but the most important thing you can do, in our opinion, is to work to remove pro-Confederate monuments, wherever they are. Do you have one where you live? Now is the time to start a movement to get rid of it.
Petition your mayor, your city council, your selectmen, whoever runs the place where you live. Celebrations of treason do not belong anywhere in America. When asking for their removal, call them what they are–celebrations of treason.
And also be clear–you don’t just want these monuments removed, you want them destroyed. Smashed to pieces. Reduced to scrap metal. As noted above, Charlottesville intends to sell its Robert E. Lee statue.
Now, think–who is going to buy it? Particularly now that it’s been the focus of such a horrible event? If it is bought, it will live on to inspire more neo-Nazis. No. No. It and the rest of these foul symbols have to be turned into slag.
German Lopez at Vox sums up the power of the act of removing Confederate monuments in a piece titled Kentucky Mayor Responds to Charlottesville by Doing Exactly What White Nationalists Don’t Want. Read it here:
See also these tweets from the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Gray:
I am taking action to relocate the Confederate statues. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens.
The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.
And once you read the story, send a thank-you to Mayor Gray, by post or tweet, because you know he’s getting shit rained on him by committed assholes, and his city could be targeted by them for protest.
Send a thank-you postcard here:
Mayor Jim Gray
200 E. Main St.
Lexington, KY, 40507
Send a thank-you tweet to the mayor:
Related to thanking Mayor Gray–another good way to show support for communities that remove Confederate statues is to reward them with your dollars. Plan your next vacation there, and tell the tourist board why you chose their area.
Here’s the website for the Lexington, Kentucky tourist board:
And below is the website for the tourist board of New Orleans:
Its mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has been carting away Confederate monuments, and he gave a moving speech on why it needed to be done.
Read the text of Landrieu’s May 2017 speech:
And here’s the tourism website for Charlottesville, Virginia:
Update: In the early hours of August 16, 2017, the city of Baltimore hauled away its Confederate monuments. Thank them by considering a vacation to Baltimore. Here’s the city’s tourism website:
Now, here are some specifics for supporting Charlottesville and the people who protested the neo-Nazis.
An Alaskan member of the Democratic Socialists of America has set up a GoFundMe to pay medical and funeral expenses of fellow members who were struck by the Dodge Challenger driven by James Alex Fields Jr., evidently of Ohio (his car had Ohio plates). He killed a 32-year-old local woman, later identified as Heather Heyer. Nineteen others were injured. He is in custody and faces murder charges.
The fundraiser has hit its initial goal of $75,000 and its subsequent goal of $100,000. Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, it had hit its third goal of $125,000, was closing in on $150,000, and was still open to accept donations. Update to the update: At 8 pm EST, it had passed $165,000 and was still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $178,000 and still open. Update October 8: The tally is at $198,111 and still taking donations.
One of the photos that went viral showed a young black man being beaten with poles by white supremacists. The man has since identified himself as 20-year-old Deandre Harris. He suffered a head injury, a broken wrist, and a chipped tooth.
His friends and family have created a GoFundMe to cover his medical expenses. As of 3 pm EST on August 13, it was almost four-fifths of the way to its $50,000 goal. (Warning–there is a graphic shot of a bloodied Harris on the page):
Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, the campaign had met its goal and stood at more than $105,000. It remains open to take donations. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: Past $107,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $137,000 and still open.
Final update October 8: The campaign collected $166,055.
A local woman, Felicia Venita Correa, has set up a separate GoFundMe for Heather Heyer. It has hit its $20,000 goal:
Update: The Heather Heyer campaign closed after collecting just over $225,000. Please direct your giving efforts to one of the related open GoFundMes.
More GoFundMe campaigns have since been set up to aid the victims of the motor vehicle attack, some for all the injured and some for individuals. Since the initial reports on the day of the incident, we have seen subsequent reports that count more than 19 injured. As of August 14, we have yet to see a list of names of the injured.
A GoFundMe started by Unity C-ville, a community group, had reached its $50,000 goal and had tallied more than $65,000 by 4 am on August 14. It remains open. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: It’s past $92,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $109,000 and still open.
Final update October 8: The campaign collected $175,555.
Update, 8 pm EST August 14: Here are more GoFundMe campaigns for Charlottesville victims of the motor vehicle attack:
For 20-year-old Natalie Romero. She is still hospitalized with a skull fracture and other wounds and does not have health insurance. Her goal is $120,000 and it’s at almost $110,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $131,000 and still open. Update October 8: At $154,125 and still taking donations.
For Marcus Martin, who saved his fiancé by pushing her out of the path of the car. He suffered broken bones and torn ligaments and won’t be able to return to his job as a landscaper for a while. His goal is $40,000, and it’s approaching $25,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $56,000 and still open.
Final update October 8: The campaign collected $61,480.
Heyer’s was not the only death connected to the protests in Charlottesville. Two Virginia State Police troopers–Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-pilot Berke M. M. Bates, died when their police helicopter crash as they patrolled the events from the air. Read about the accident:
We have looked for online fundraisers for the families of the troopers and have not seen anything yet. We will update this post accordingly if we learn of one.
Here also is the link to the Anti-Racist Legal Fund for Solidarity C’ville. Update: As of 9 pm EST on August 14, the campaign had collected almost $150,000, well above its $50,000 goal. Though the campaign is still open, its page says the legal fund is now set and to please direct your giving to medical needs:
Many branches of Indivisible have planned local events to show support for the anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville. Look here to see if there’s one near you:
Here are links to other articles that list Charlottesville-area charities and organizations that were involved in the counter-protests, are helping with the aftermath, or are the types of entities whose very existence annoys neo-Nazis:
The pinned tweet at the top of Sara Benincasa’s page leads to a Medium article with more C’ville nonprofits you can help:
…and here’s the Twitter handle for Indivisible Cville, where we found several of these links:
Lastly, an idea. Please consider wearing something purple to the next protest that you attend. Purple was Heather Heyer’s favorite color. She should not be forgotten. This is a way to remember her and to bring her spirit to future protests.