Monday, August 14, 2017

Wichitans come out to rally for the victims of Charlottesville

By SJ Otto
People from across Wichita met this Sunday for a Stand Up! in Solidarity with Charlottesville rally at old Sedgwick County Courthouse grounds. About 300 people attended the rally. Other rallies were held across the country.
This week the nations eyes were on CharlottesvilleVirginia, where all kinds of right-wing fringe groups came together to support right-wing causes. "Unite the Right" rally brought out all kinds of  white nationalist and supremacistsHeather Heyer  was killed when James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, ran his car into a crowd of protesters. He has been booked on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop for an accident involving a death.
"We stand strong with our brothers and sisters in Charlottesville," said Larry Burks, President of the Wichita Chapter of NAACP, one of the many speakers who addressed the rally. "We will not be afraid."   (Below is Larry Burks addressing the crowd)

He added that President Donald Trump needs to be a leader and act like a leader. Trump has been criticized this week for not condemning the far right groups that caused much of the violence.
"I want to offer my condolences to the three people who died in Charlottesville," (two policemen died in a helicopter crash) said James Thompson, a Democratic Party activist and a candidate for US Congress. "I reject the policies of the Alt Right, the Nazis and the skinheads. For all our leaders from the president to the dog catcher If they don't stand up for these principles boot them out as soon as we can."
He added that he liked a sign that said: "Don't morn, organize."
" We condemn white supremacists," said Chris Rayl, of the Wichita Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). He said DSA works with other organizations including the International Workers of the World (IWW), the International Socialist Organization (ISO), Black Lives Matter and even the Anti-fascists, also known as Antifa. It is interesting to note that he agreed to work with Antifa because some leftist groups have accused organization of promoting violence.
For example, this was posted by

"Though to many they may seem to be revolutionaries, primed to take the fight against whatever variety of perceived fascism, the self-proclaimed anti-fascists of “Antifa” are a millstone around the neck of the political left and possibly a greater danger to progressive and liberal values than even Donald Trump himself.
To be certain, while it may inspire a guttural cheer to see a white nationalist crackpot like Richard Spencer belted across the face, and may feel as though our nation stands on the cusp of revolution as swarms of black clad young people burn property and charge police lines, the net effects of these actions, both real and potential, must not be embraced as resistance mounts to Trump and rightwing populism throughout the West....

....The reasons are a mix of the pragmatic and philosophical. For starters, through their wanton destruction and rioting, as well as unbridled enthusiasm for vandalism and violence, Antifa and their black bloc tactics are in many ways an outright gift to those who advocate for a police state. As their presence has become a standard affair at demonstrations and protest rallies, their particular version of “radical activism,” replete with its threats of violent insurrection and assaults on civilian bystanders, give the domestic security apparatus and its supporters perfect justification for increased surveillance and a crackdown on political speech."

This is really a bad argument. What this says is that the state is justified if it uses police state tactics because of the black block and Antifa. To some extent protesters have a right to defend themselves. To leave it all up to the government, the police and the politicians to keep the peace is the real invite to a police state. People on the left have a right to self-defence. We have the same rights to defend ourselves as the far right does. The right-wingers don't hesitate to use violence to defend their causes.

The rally last night was peaceful. Organizers planned it that way. But many of us recognize that organizations have the right to defend themselves and often they are attacked by groups on the far right. Violence comes easy to such right-wing groups.
About 300 people attended this event.

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