Hundreds rally at City Hall to protest Virginia violence
A day after a White Nationalist rally left one woman dead in Charlottesville, Va., an estimated 400 people came to Portland City Hall on Sunday to protest.
Many people spoke out against the violence, as well as the Nazi and Confederate flags and white supremacist speeches that dominated the Virginia rally. Unlike the situation in Charlottesville, the Portland rally drew no opposition, no police presence and no violence.
"I was just feeling so sick in the last 24 hours, watching the rise of Fascism in our country," said Erin Roycroft, who stood in a garden outside Portland City Hall, listening to speakers.
"It's as if the Nazis are feeling emboldened," she said. "Putting my body in the streets in opposition to that view of the country is about all I feel like I can do right now."
Anne Russell also came downtown for the rally. "This is my way of being in solidarity and resisting this truly terrifying moment we now are watching," she said.
Jeanne Grace Whitman, who created a Facebook page on the topic of white privilege, said she had come to speak as well as to listen. "White privilege poisons the soul of America," she said. "White privilege prevents the social change that is required."
Several people at the Portland rally said they came in opposition to a comment by President Donald Trump, in which he called out violence "on many sides" and did not denounce white nationalism or the use of Nazi and Fascist symbolism.
Organizers of the Saturday rally in Charlottesville said it was put together in opposition to a plan by local officials to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy's top general.
The violence in Charlottesville ended up with one person dead: Heather D. Heyer, 32, who died when a car smashed into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters. Nineteen others were injured in the incident.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia declared a state of emergency.