Tag Archives: UVA

Charlottesville Anti-Racist Groups Issue Statement in Response to Over-Policing on Anniversary of Deadly White Supremacist Attacks

Charlottesville Anti-Racist Groups Issue Statement in Response to Over-Policing on Anniversary of Deadly White Supremacist Attacks

Charlottesville, VA — This weekend as Charlottesville community members prepared to mourn communal losses including Heather Heyer’s murder, reflect on the tragic events of last year’s deadly ‘Unite the Right’ white supremacist rally, and organize collectively against perennial systems of oppression, they faced the fifth largest deployment of law enforcement in Virginia history. This included hundreds of police, officers in riot gear, and the National Guard with military equipment. In response to these events, Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, Showing Up for Racial Justice Charlottesville, Congregate Charlottesville, and UVA Students United have issued the following statement:

“This weekend in Charlottesville, we were able to join together in grief, rage, and celebration of resistance. In spite of a massive police presence, we showed love for each other and took care of each other: with songs, snacks, marches, meals, small groups of mutual aid, smiles, tears, heartfelt embraces and with jail support for the three who needed it. Despite attempts by police to corral and intimidate us, we held space to listen to survivors of the physical and emotional trauma of last year’s white supremacist attack. We celebrated the collective resilience of our ongoing anti-racist community mobilization.

“The over-policing of this weekend failed to rectify the damage of last year’s police stand down. That lapse resulted in injuries to dozens, the death of Heather Heyer, and irreparable harm to the moral fabric of our city. We have been clear about the necessary steps to begin to rectify that harm, which include: full accountability from the University of Virginia for enabling white supremacists to attack students and community members on August 11, 2017;  the University of Virginia meeting the students’ demand to pay or forgive all remaining medical bills for survivors injured August 11-12, 2017; the Commonwealth Attorney not prosecuting Black community members for defending themselves against white supremacists who targeted them on August 12, 2017; the Charlottesville Police Department ending racist stop-and-frisk practices; and city planning that curtails the rising tide of gentrifying real estate development while building urgently needed public housing for very low income people. And Charlottesville must remove the racist Jim Crow monuments to the confederate antebellum slave regime.

“Together, we have refused to let our community be used as a platform for a white supremacist genocidal agenda. Together, we will continue to challenge the white supremacy inherent to policing and other institutions. We fight white supremacy in all its forms. We fight against fascism and for racial justice, and we will win.”

Charlottesville Rally Goers Refuse to Cede to Confines of Policing Apparatus Forced Upon Them

Charlottesville Rally Goers Refuse to Cede to Confines of Policing Apparatus Forced Upon Them

Charlottesville, VA — This evening UVA students and Charlottesville community members who intended to reclaim the North Plaza of the Rotunda and demand justice for those who have suffered at the hands of white supremacy arrived to a policing apparatus they did not agree to.  In response to this situation UVA Students United as issued the following statement:

“Last Year They Came With Torches, This Year They Come with Badges

“We will not be holding the rally within the confines of policing apparatus forced upon us by the University Administration. It is a betrayal of our ideals and our community.

“What you see around you is not what we asked for. We asked the university for the following demands:

  • Payment or Waiving of Medical Fees for ALL survivors of August 11th and 12th

  • Denouncement of White Supremacy in the form of issuing Lifelong No Trespass orders to identified White Supremacists present on August 11th

  • Transparency for the undisclosed profits raised by the Concert for Charlottesville

“Here is how the University retaliated:

  • To ‘require’ that we choose a select group of community members to join with us at the rally

  • They suggested we physically mark attendees with wristbands and prohibiting attendance to people without student IDs

  • They put up barricades surrounding the space, and police around and within the perimeter, armed with riot gear

  • They designated a space for white supremacist counter-protestors, protecting their violence

  • The University is housing nearly one thousand State Police in dorms that students pay for

  • They gave us an ultimatum–to accept their “security plan” or not hold the rally at all.

  • Last year, armed white supremacists surrounded and attacked students. The police watched from across the street until the torch-bearing mob left. As anti-racist protestors recovered from the attack, the Police barricaded those still inside of the Plaza and issued a dispersal order with the threat of arrest.

“You may think that the cops are here to protect us, but we disagree. We know instead that:

  • Cops have a history of violence against anti-racist protestors, as we experienced last year at the KKK rally and saw in the past 10 days in Portland and Berkley.
  • The institution of policing was created from the system of slave patrols. Today the function of the police continues to be to over patrol Black communities, target people of color and protect wealth.
  • Police are routinely exempt from punishment regardless of biased, excessive force and violence. Furthermore, the Courts, in the service of police control, intentionally punish anti-racist activists.
  • Increased police presence only results in increased police violence.

“The City and the University’s desire to control images and protect their brands has created a dangerous police state. They’re not here to protect us, they’re here to control us. We will not comply.”

Photo credit: Ned Oliver, The Virginia Mercury