More than 1,000 people gathered outside Austin City Hall Saturday morning to rally against white supremacy following the violence that transpired last weekend at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
About one week ago, a 32-year-old woman died and more than one dozen others were hurt after a vehicle plowed into a group of peaceful protesters leaving the “Unite the Right” rally that had been declared by officials in Charlottesville as an “unlawful assembly.” White supremacist groups came armed with guns, torches and Nazi flags, chanting racist and anti-Jewish slogans.
From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Austin’s rally began and ended with music and, in between, featured various speakers such as Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other civic leaders and activists.
Austin’s rally also focused on the comments President Donald Trump made after the violence, which many have criticized as not placing blame on specific hate groups. Last Saturday, Trump said he blamed the Charlottesville violence on “many sides” – without directly condemning white supremacists.
“We should not need a teleprompter for all of us to say that Nazis are bad,” Adler said at Saturday’s rally. “And in Austin, Texas, white supremacists will never be supreme.”
Other speakers such as the Rev. John MacIver Gage took to the podium at Austin’s rally.
“Evil unchallenged takes on a life of its own,” said the Rev. of United Christian Church of Austin. “The evil of racism and white supremacy has grown up right alongside our nation like a persistent weed from the very beginning. We see its ugly blossom and its overt acts like the rally to “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville a week ago.”