Monday, August 14, 2017

On Sunday, Missoulians marched in solidarity with Charlottesville

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:21 PM

In response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, an estimated 225 people gathered at Missoula's BN Plaza Sunday night, Aug. 13, to march in solidarity with Charlottesville. The attendance was estimated by Missoula Rises: Organization and Action Founded in Love, an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network and the group that organized Sunday's vigil and march.

The gathering kicked off with Erin Erickson, the Missoula Rises, organizer thanking attendees for standing against hate, and recapping events in Charlottesville. Afterwards, community members Lauren Rodriguez, Deborah Schmidt, Dave Jolla, Davis Ritsema and Dustin Monroe spoke to the marchers about racism in the Missoula community. Members of the Industrial Workers of the World and the Democratic Socialists of America also spoke, honoring the life of Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville on Saturday when a driver crashed his car into a crowd of demonstrators counter-protesting a violent white supremacist rally.

Dustin Monroe, a Lakota and Blackfeet speaker and activist, spoke about the persistent nationwide culture of racism and outlined local examples of racism against Native American peoples. Among the crowd was Chris Badgley, a candidate for Missoula City Council representing Ward 4, who said, “There is nothing patriotic about fascism.”

The marchers then took to Higgins Avenue, peacefully chanting “No hate in our state,” “Love lives here,” and “Black lives matter,” raising fists and signs, and garnering honks from several cars and whistles from pedestrians.

Erickson concluded the march up just above the Clark Fork Market area by announcing further actions that citizens can take to combat hate (follow Missoula Rises: Organization & Action Founded In Love on Facebook for more information) and reiterating the importance of persistent activism.

click to enlarge A man closes his eyes in prayer for those injured and killed during the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. - ELI IMADALI
  • Eli Imadali
  • A man closes his eyes in prayer for those injured and killed during the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.


click to enlarge Dustin Monroe, a Lakota and Blackfeet activist, speaks to the crowd about racism against Native Americans in Montana. - ELI IMADALI
  • Eli Imadali
  • Dustin Monroe, a Lakota and Blackfeet activist, speaks to the crowd about racism against Native Americans in Montana.


click to enlarge A marcher holds a sign commemorating Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville on Saturday when a driver crashed his car into demonstrators protesting a white supremacist rally. - ELI IMADALI
  • Eli Imadali
  • A marcher holds a sign commemorating Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville on Saturday when a driver crashed his car into demonstrators protesting a white supremacist rally.


click to enlarge Caroline Temple marches down Higgins Avenue, with her child, both of them chanting “love lives here,” along with an estimated 225 other marchers. - ELI IMADALI
  • Eli Imadali
  • Caroline Temple marches down Higgins Avenue, with her child, both of them chanting “love lives here,” along with an estimated 225 other marchers.

click to enlarge Missoulians march down Higgins Avenue chanting “black lives matter.” - ELI IMADALI
  • Eli Imadali
  • Missoulians march down Higgins Avenue chanting “black lives matter.”








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