Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Anti-hate vigils set for St. Pete and Tampa after violence in Virginia

A day after a white supremacist rally spiraled into deadly violence in Virginia, anti-hate vigils are set for St. Petersburg and Tampa.

A Facebook group called Women's March Florida Chapter-Pinellas posted that it will hold a "Solidarity Vigil for Charlottesville" at Demens Landing on the St. Petersburg downtown waterfront tonight from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

"The promotion of the alt right and hateful rhetoric surging through our nation is unacceptable," a Facebook post said. "We encourage you to bring your families as we gather together to show that as Americans we can come together and stand up in love and solidarity."

A news release distributed by the group Indivisible FL-13, which is co-hosting the event, said St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman would be in attendance.

Meanwhile a Facebook group called Tampa Democratic Socialists of America posted that it will host a "Tampa Vigil Against Hate for Charlottesville" outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse in downtown Tampa tonight at 7.

"We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the white supremacist, racist, anti-Semitic terrorist attack on our comrades in the DSA, the ISO, IWW, Antifa and all others who joined forces in the streets of Charlottesville, VA yesterday," a post on that page said. "This vigil is being called by numerous Tampa-area organizations to honor those killed and injured and to stand up against the rising tide of fascism and white supremacy in our country."

The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was a response to efforts to remove a statue of Confederate Civil War general Robert E. Lee.

Activists across the U.S. have planned gatherings Sunday that range from a march in Manhattan to a rally in a public square in Cleveland. In West Virginia, residents are planning to go to a Confederate statue on the state Capitol grounds and call for its removal.

In South Carolina, live video from The Greenville News showed dozens of people gathered at an afternoon rally. Organizer Todd May, a Clemson University professor, says the gathering aimed to show support for people targeted by white supremacist rhetoric.

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