Hundreds gather to show solidarity for Charlottesville victims

Rain didn't deter people from speaking out against racism.
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Hundreds of Minnesotans braved the Sunday evening rain to show solidarity with the victims of white supremacist violence in Virginia.

An impromptu sunset vigil at Bde Maka Ska/Lake Calhoun was held to "honor the lives lost and those injured resisting the ope hatred of white supremacy" in Charlottesville, according to its event page on Facebook.

Several local pastors, a rabbi, and representatives from women's rights, Native American and union groups were among the speakers, before a crowd of almost 1,000.

Those in attendance joined together in song, including for this moving, understated rendition of "We Shall Not Be Moved."

"I think people have started to wake up to the idea that racism is still a really big problem and that both systemic and overt racism like we saw yesterday in Charlottesville need to be confronted," Johan Baumeister, who organized the lakeside vigil, told KARE 11.

This was one of several events held across the state in response to the violence in Charlottesville, at a rally attended by white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and alt-right groups that ended with a woman being killed and 19 injured when a car plowed into a crowd of anti-racist counter-protesters.

Similar events were held in St. Paul, Apple Valley, Coon Rapids and St. Cloud, the Star Tribune reports, with those attending the Minneapolis vigil bringing signs saying "No racist U.S.A." and "Solidarity Trumps hate."

The latter of those signs makes reference to the criticism leveled by President Donald Trump for his response to the events in Charlottesville, which you can read more about here.

Minneapolis mayor denounces 'eruption of a virus.'

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was unable to attend the event, but posted a lengthy comment on her Facebook page describing the events in Charlottesville as "an eruption of a virus we as Americans have had in our system from the beginning."

"This eruption has as its core hatred: hatred for people of color and indigenous people, but also hatred of Jewish and Muslim people," she writes ."Together we must decry all of it, and stand with our neighbors."

"It is especially important for us white people to find each other and help each other through our own racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism, our own blind spots, our own resistance," she added.

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