Counter demonstration against racism planned in Charlotte to oppose neo-Nazi rally
Updated: November 14, 2017 at 11:28 am
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Charlotte, N.C. — A counter demonstration in opposition to the planned neo-Nazi rally coming to Charlotte has already been put together by a group of local activists.
The “Charlotte Against Racism/White Supremacy” protest is scheduled for Dec. 28 in Marshall Park, where groups responsible for the violent rally in Charlottesville are planning a “March Against Communism” on the same day.
— Anticom (@anticomofficial) September 21, 2017
Jibril Hough, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, created the counter demonstration as soon as he learned of the white supremacists plan to come here.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police is aware of the racist march and will be in touch with the group ahead of the event, CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano said on Saturday.
“As for the permit, it’s been applied for today, but we’ve spoken with the city and they’ve informed us that only a permit for the electronic speakers is necessary,” a spokesperson for Anticom, one of the organizing groups, told Newsweek on Tuesday. He added that Charlotte was chosen by “watching previous rallies and paying attention to when and how police intervene.”
The spokesperson added that the venue was chosen after a failed attempt to secure a private, indoor space, and said the presence of a Martin Luther King, Jr. statue and a Holocaust memorial in the park was “incidental,” claiming they had nothing to do “with our goals or speaking points.”
Unlike in Charlottesville, where the white supremacists were ostensibly protesting the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, Charlotte has made no plans to take down or relocate its Confederate monuments. In fact, they, along with those in the rest of the state of North Carolina, are protected under a 2015 law that makes moving, relocating, altering them without first obtaining permission from the N.C. Historical Commission.
Vanguard America is also going to be present, according to the event flier. James Alex Fields, the man charged with killing anti-racism demonstrator Heather Heyer, was photographed in Charlottesville holding a Vanguard America shield.
— Oren Segal (@orensegal) August 13, 2017
“We don’t want Charlotte to be Charlottesville, and I think we should show a united front,” Hough told the Charlotte Observer. “My intention is to call people from different backgrounds together to show a united front against racism and white supremacy.”
He added that their demonstration would be peaceful, and the plan was to stay on the sidewalks near Marshall Park, and near the Statue of King.
There are also efforts to raise money for charities that run counter to the neo-Nazi’s worldview, including those supporting LGBTQ people.
In addition to the above image that has been getting passed around on social media, there is a pledge form people can fill out promising to give to those causes.
“Anticom” white supremacists – including neo-Nazi Richard Spencer – are planning to come to Charlotte on December 28. We’re fighting back with a non-violent form of protest: donating money to local anti-racist organizations for every white supremacist who comes to the Queen City. We will display the total pledged at the rally so that every dimwit who comes to Charlotte will know how much they contributed to fighting racism in our community.
Please share this link (marchofdimwits.com) with the hashtag #MarchOfDimwits.
We have contacted the CMPD inquiring about the permit situation, as well as if it would be legal for the group to march through uptown with lit torches, as they did in Charlottesville and are threatening to do in Charlotte. We will update if more information is provided.
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About the author: Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.