Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Public Safety

San Diegans Gather For Unity Vigil After Charlottesville Violence

peters.png
San Diegans Gather For Unity Vigil After Charlottesville Violence
California Hopes 'Healthy Soil' Will Help Fight Climate Change GUEST: Kathleen Stadler, organizer, San Diego Indivisible

I am Michael Lipkin. It is Monday, August 14. The top story on midday edition, violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia as white nationalists, including members of the [ NULL ], marched and a "Unite the Right" rally. A man killed one and injured 19 others. 1000 15 people gathered last night for candlelight vigil. Here is Kathleen Stadler, one of the organizers at the vigil.Every time we hear something come up that flies in the face of love, that flies in the face of equality, it is on us to speak up. How many people here are willing to do that?[ Chearing ]How many are willing? How many are going to be louder?[ Chearing ]Joining me is Kathleen Stadler , welcome to the program.Thank you for having.The women's march of San Diego and together we will help organize the vigil. Why did you want a rally here?After the event that happened on Saturday, after Heather Heyer was killed and the two state troopers were killed, it should sent shockwaves across the country. We knew that violence was possible but the fact that Nazis murdered an American woman on American soil who was standing up for American values of equality for all sent shockwaves through the country. In San Diego, we recognize that it was not a Charlottesville or a Virginia problem. It was an American problem. It is upon all of us to stand up and to speak out every time we see something like that happen. Unfortunately, what has happened in Washington has imported the forces of evil and white supremacy that wants to divide us. It is a combatant on the rest of us and there are morbus than them, to get bolder in our speaking out.Many people were shocked, see others march openly this weekend with torches and hateful signs. You think whatever white nationalist community exists in San Diego feels just as and Boyden?I would like to think that the answer is no. I would like to think that it is not something we will see in San Diego but I cannot be certain of that. The only thing I can be certain of is that there is a bolder and stronger community in San Diego that believes that love is what makes America great. It will stand up at the forces come out like that here in San Diego. We are a patriotic state. We believe in American values. The fact that we have homegrown, white terrorist that are using ISIS tactics to murdered American citizens is completely against everything we believe in.President Trump was criticized by both political parties after he decried violence on quote, many sides but he said this a few hours ago that races and is able. Those who cause violence and its names are criminals and thugs. That includes the [ NULL ], neo-Nazis, white supremacist and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.What is your response?It is a better statement than the one he made a couple of days ago. However, talk is cheap and talk is easy. We know the fact that part of the coalition that elected him to office was comprised of people led by David to, the [ NULL ] and we know he has white nationalist sitting in our White House. If he really wants to put value behind those words, he needs to get rid of them. He needs to remove all of them from his administration. He needs to tell those people that they have no place in the United States and he does not want there votes.We heard one call to action in the clip we play. Whether tangible messages were you hoping that people walked away with? What did you want them to do?Over the past few months, because of what is happening and what is coming out of Washington, we heard a lot of talk about people having conversations with family members or friends. They have racist beliefs that are racist. We need to have those conversations with people that are not our family and friends. We need to speak out every time that we see racism happening. As white people in this country, as I was talking to my white brothers and sisters, it is on us to have those conversations and to speak out every time we see it. That will make change happen.The CEO of the drugmaker Merck resigned from the business Council saying he needed to take a stand against intolerance. He is black. Is that the action you're looking for? What does it matter if he steps down expect it makes a huge difference if he steps down. It is my understanding that Merck stop -- stock rose immediately and there was a market response. Not only does this have a moral cause for business leaders and a financial cause. Americans are not willing to put up with this. There are Americans that believe in love and founding values of equality than those who believe in hatred and division.I have been speaking with Kathleen Stadler . Thank you.Thank you for having me.

Close to 1,000 peaceful demonstrators gathered for a unity vigil in front of the San Diego County Administration Building in the largest of several local gatherings to pay homage to those killed and injured over the weekend in connection with clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

RELATED: Pressure Mounts On Trump To Address Race-Fueled Clash

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, was one of those who spoke at the vigil Sunday night outside the county building. He honored Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed when a white nationalist drove into a crowd of counter- protestors Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville.

"It wears us out, but it is not over," he said of the fight against hate and bigotry. "We have to continue to fight ... be awake, be aware, be engaged, be present, because we have work to do."

Those gathered at the vigil held candles, displayed signs and joined in the singing of "We Shall Overcome." Also featured was a choir singing Tracy Chapman's 1988 protest song, "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution."

Earlier Sunday, demonstrators gathered at Cottonwood Creek Park in Encinitas to call for peace and unity and honor Heyer and those injured in the crash.

RELATED: Charlottesville Victim Heather Heyer ‘Stood Up’ Against What She Felt Was Wrong

On Saturday night, local members of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union and other left-wing and socialist groups gathered in El Cajon to honor Heyer, who was a member of the IWW.

Yesenia Padilla, a member of the San Diego chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and the Democratic Autonomy Federation, told ABC10 that the killing of Heyer by a suspected white nationalist is "chilling" and "terrifying."

"We will not stand for this, we will not stand for (Ku Klux Klan), for Nazis to overrun us," Padilla told the television station. "Members of the left peacefully protesting were murdered (Saturday) by white supremacists."

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder in Heyer's death, police said. He was also charged with three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death.

A photograph earlier in the day appeared to show Fields, dressed in a white polo shirt like others attending the "Unite the Right" rally, holding a shield with symbols of Vanguard America. According to the New York Times, that group's manifesto declares "a government based in the natural law must not cater to the false notion of equality." The organization denied any ties to Fields.