March responds to Charlottesville and renews Call to take down symbols of White Supremacy
August 18, 2017 - ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Georgia Resists, a newly formed coalition of civil and human rights groups announces a weekend of resistance across Georgia and a major demonstration of unity in response to last weekend's deadly "Unite the Right" event in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 6:00 PM in Atlanta, organizers of the Georgia Resists Coalition call to community members to gather at Centennial Olympic Park and peacefully march to the Martin Luther King National Historic Site as a show of resistance to hate and white supremacy in the State of Georgia.
Many of the organizers are trained in Kingian non-violent method. This is no ordinary March. They are armed with unconquering commitment to love and ever bold legislative agenda. "White supremacy is a sneaky poison that contaminates communities and corrodes institutions. By gathering today, marchers will be able to educate themselves on recognizing it, learn more about diverse organizations doing critical social justice work and exercise their right to safely speak out against white supremacy. That makes this more than just a march, it is also an act of revolutionary self-care." ~ Anana Harris Parris. Anana Harris Parris is an organizing member of Georgia Resist and the Founder of the SisterCARE Alliance, an organization promoting social justice as a form of self-care and self-care as a form of social justice."
After a week of equivocation by President Donald J. Trump, the organizers are resolved.
“We believe love trumps hate and Saturday’s demonstration will show our solidarity against the neo-Nazis and white nationalists that clashed violently with those standing against racism, leaving courageous American Heather Hayer dead and innocents like Deandre Harris injured, along with more than a dozen others” said Janel Green, a Georgia Alliance for Social Justice Leader.
Other protests and solidarity marches are planned for this Saturday in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
The Charlottesville rally was held in response to that city's plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. At least 26 cities across the nation have either removed or have plans to remove Confederate memorials. While most of the memorials are clustered in the South, Confederate monuments have been or are planned to be removed in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York City. Lexington, Kentucky Mayor Jim Gray announced on Saturday that two Confederate statues in his city would be taken down and relocated. Activist Takiyah Thompson and three others were arrested for allegedly taking down a confederate monument in Durham, NC on August 15.
“Charlottesville, like much of America, has grappled with the legacy of white supremacy, the country’s continued decision to honor those who fought to keep black Americans in bondage, and the racism and violence we continue to confront on a daily basis even in cities like Atlanta” said Attorney Tiffany Roberts, Black Lives Matter Atlanta organizer.
After President Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks following the tragedy in Charlottesville, pressure from across the political spectrum to remove hateful symbols including many statutes that glorify the confederacy is mounting. Organizers of the march believe that the removal of these symbols of hatred should inspire communities to confront institutions that continue the legacy of slavery through the systemic oppression of marginalized groups.
“This effort this weekend is to make sure that Governor Nathan Deal and our representatives in Government at the state, county and municipal levels understand that hate has no sanctuary in Georgia,” said Francys Johnson, Statesboro Attorney, and Pastor. "These monuments," said Johnson, "purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror fueled by white supremacy that it actually stood for.”
Organizers including Kenyette Barnes, a registered lobbyist, noted that this is not just a march. “We have demands including the adoption of hate crime and comprehensive civil rights legislation; revising the statutory protections for Confederate statutes so they can be moved to cemeteries and museums; and more state support for the network of museums that tell the stories of Georgia,” said Barnes.
Millennial activist James Woodall summed up the objective of the March, “this generation is united in both our resistance against white supremacy and racial bigotry and our commitment to fulfill the obligation of citizenship expressed in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution in the building of a more perfect union,” said Woodall.
March organizers have planned for a safe and peaceful march to included trained marshals and legal observers to monitor all activity. "Our priority is to simultaneously deliver our message while maintaining the safety of all marchers," said Tim Franzen, Marshall Coordinator and leader of the American Friends Service Committee.
WHAT: Georgia Resists: Take Down White Supremacy March
WHERE: Centennial Olympic Park to the King National Site
WHEN: August 19, 2017 at 6:00 PM
WHY: Hate and white supremacy should have no sanctuary in Georgia.
BRING WATER, COMFORTABLE SHOES, COURAGE, AND PEACEFUL SPIRITS.
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- Tim Durski
- Laura Gaydos
- Kayla Pendleton
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