PORTLAND, Ore. - Hundreds gathered outside Portland City Hall Sunday evening to stand in solidarity with the victims hurt and killed at a white nationalists rally in Charlottesville, Va.
A woman was killed and 19 others were injured in Virginia Saturday when a man drove his car through a group of counter-demonstrators, according to authorities.
The “Portland Solidarity with Charlottesville” event was hosted by the group Portland Stands United Against Hate. The group formally announced the event late Saturday night following the violence in Charlottesville. Organizers estimated around 300 people were attending the vigil.
“We do think that by turning out in large numbers, and showing with our bodies and our voices, that we can discourage [white nationalists] and make racists afraid again,” said Jamie Partridge, an organizer with Portland Stands United Against Hate. The event also served as an opportunity to stand up against white nationalism, he said.
“I know that today, we are all in this together. Black, Jew, Muslim, native American,” said Rabbi Debra Kolodny, who was first to speak.
“But if we stand together, shoulder to shoulder, with each other, and confront the far right and those who benefit from the far right’s violence, a better world will be in our grasp,” said Jad Ziade, another speaker.
“We are people of color,” shouted Rev. E.D. Mondaine. Before leading the crowd in song, Mondaine said, “As long as I’ve got friends like you, as long as I’ve got family like you, as long as there are people of color like you who are standing with me, I ain’t got nothing to worry about!”
The peaceful vigil lasted for roughly three hours as various people in attendance took turns addressing the crowds. Organizers had not expected any pushback or counter-demonstrations from other groups. However, organizers said they did reach out to Portland Police to give a heads up that they were planning the vigil.