New York

Black Lives Matter Group Rallies in Union Square in Response to Charlottesville Violence

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio issued statements condemning the violence in Virginia

A black lives matter group gathered in Union Square on Saturday in response to the violent clashes at a white supremacist rally in Virginia. 

Union Square was packed with people holding signs, some of which read "No To Racism and Bigotry" and "Impeach." 

The gathering was called to show solidarity for Charlottesville, Virginia, where at least one person was killed and many more were injured when a car plowed into people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally. 

The chaos boiled over at what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade: the governor declared a state of emergency, police dressed in riot gear ordered people out and helicopters circled overhead. The group had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of the Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others who arrived to protest the racism.

New York officials also spoke out to condemn the violence. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he and "New Yorkers reject the hateful and ugly ‎rhetoric and violence taking place in Charlottesville."

He continued: "We condemn the language of white supremacy and ugly racist hate speech and stand appalled at the violence that has resulted in injury and death.

"There are not many sides to the violence of last night and today - these actions and this speech are a poison and serve to bring us all down to the lowest and most un-American of moments."

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the violence by white supremacists "domestic terrorism." 

He said in a statement with first lady Chirlane McCray: "The white supremacists have taken their hate, violence, and intolerance to the streets, but we will not be intimidated by domestic terrorism. We will continue to fight against the deep-seated racism that exists in our country wherever it appears."

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also spoke out against the violence. He said in a statement:

"The white supremacist violence on display in Charlottesville this weekend is an affront to everything this country represents. When you give license to open expressions of bigotry against some groups, you open the door to bigotry against all groups of people.

"Each of us—especially those of us in public office—has a moral obligation to condemn these actions in the strongest of terms. False equivalencies between 'sides; simply provides cover to the white supremacists seeking to take our country backwards and tear our communities apart."

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