News

Vigil against hate attracts hundreds

Residents from multiple cities turn out in support of Charlottesville

Community members gather on the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real in Mountain View, holding flags and signs displaying messages of love during a peaceful vigil on Aug. 13, 2017 against white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo by Ana Sofia Amieva-Wang.

Several hundred people marched in a candlelight procession in Mountain View on Sunday night in a solidarity against white supremacist and hate groups.

The vigil, which was organized by the 3,000-member Together We Will Palo Alto Mountain View, attracted residents from as far as Redwood City, including many families. The group began a several block walk from El Camino Real and Castro Street and converged on the Civic Center Plaza where they sang together and individuals spoke about how they felt. They promised to be back again another day in larger numbers.

Marchers said they were moved to come out after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which killed one woman and injured more than a dozen after a man plowed his car into counter-demonstrators following a white supremacist rally.

"I'm appalled with the response from our president and our Congress. We stand with everybody here. We really will not tolerate this kind of hatred and vulgarity," Margaret Herzen, a Redwood City resident, said.

Mountain View resident Shawn Shahin said the vigil is the first time she has come out to demonstrate.

"I just couldn't stand by and do nothing. I truly believe we need to tolerate and accept all people," she said, noting that she was deeply moved by the Charlottesville violence.

"This is the straw that broke the camel's back," she said.

Christopher Kashap, also of Mountain View, attended with his 11-year-old daughter, Isabella.

"I'm here because I'm frightened and outraged. I'm the son of an immigrant. That's what makes this country great -- immigrants," he said.

In a statement issued Wedensday, Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff called the the actions in Charlottesville "horrendous violence" and said there is not place for the "racist views' held by white nationalist groups.

"We should not let these actions go unchallenged or allow extreme and racist viewpoints to become normalized," Scharff said. "While we have heard a varied response from the administration, it is important that our community denounce such perspectives and recommit to tolerance, civility and inclusivity."

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Comments

17 people like this
Posted by Jane Gill
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2017 at 7:12 am

[Post removed.]


29 people like this
Posted by Christine
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2017 at 7:50 am

Jane Gill- yes we were protesting all violence and hatred and bigotry. But if you continue the false equivalency narrative that there were equal horrors and violence from antifa and white supremacists, you give nazis a pass. Have you seen the videos of white supremacists with camo and massive guns and helmets and mace- ready and willing to riot? Have you seen the organized coordinated attacks on the students of UVA? All violence is terrible but it was NOT equal. The White supremacist movement was there to engender terror, not to protest a statue of a racist coming down.


20 people like this
Posted by Chase
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2017 at 8:39 am

As a nation, I think how far we have come. Then the events of Saturday happen and I think how far we still have to go. Sad.


30 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 14, 2017 at 9:14 am

I saw a brief interview with the organizer of this white grievance demonstration on TV. He was going to be the main speaker at a local park, before the violent clashes took over. His basic message seemed to be, "don't ignore our plight and our rights". It was not white supremacy (although some of those were there, no doubt). If the antifa counter protesters were not physically challenging them, I doubt that any violence would have occurred. Even hate speech, if it occurred, is permitted by the U.S. Constitution (with certain limited exceptions).

Barely mentioned in this discussion is the yeoman work of the police, including the loss of two police lives. Blue lives matter.


31 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

The organizers of the Nazi rally in Charlottesville were explicitly calling for violence -- they asked people to show up with shields and guns, organized brigades of thugs to beat people and used explicitly anti-semitic imagery to attract attendees. During the earlier phases of of the Nazi riot, the local police stood by, instead of trying to separate Nazis from the general public, resulting in dozens of serious injuries even before one of the Nazis decided to try and mow down people with a car like ISIS.

If your TV channel is describing this as a mild "don't ignore our plight" event, then it's time to change the channel and cancel your cable/satellite subscription to it so that they don't get any more money.


18 people like this
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2017 at 9:49 am

The white supremacists are operating out of an inner fear. A fear that they are losing what they perceive as their historical and cultural heritage. The Confederate flag and statues of various Civil War generals are all that some have to hold onto and as sad/pathetic as that may seem, some are willing to go the distance to ensure that all is not lost to the changing times and emerging demographics of our 'evolving' nation.

If some of these 'white folks' had ancestors who fought in the Civil War, the chances are most that of them were from poorer backgrounds as there were far more sharecroppers and small farmers than there were wealthy, slave-owning plantation owners. Thus the "Rich man's war, poor man's battle" adage easily applies (as in most conflicts).

Reconstruction was probably to blame as the radical Republicans wanted to punish the South rather than rebuild it for a smooth transition back into the Union. The same thing happened after WW1 as GB and France can be clearly and easily be blamed for the eventual rise of the 3rd Reich. By forcing post WW1 Germany into bankruptcy, Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau must assume full responsibility for what later occurred.

Douglas MacArthur and George Patton realized this flaw and as a result, the reconstruction of post WW2 Japan and Germany went a lot smoother and today these two former enemies are now trusted allies.

Bottom line, blame the politicians who always have a way of screwing things up for future generations.

The white supremacists feel that they and their ancestors got screwed and so they're taking it out on others. Sad and unfortunate.




12 people like this
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2017 at 10:06 am

Lastly and speaking as someone of Jewish decent, let's not forget that Spain, England and France + a host of other countries have a storied history of displacing and mistreating Jewish people. Thus I hold Nazi Germany as just another extension of this abhorrent practice. Returning to my earlier point, it's usually political actions and in the case of the Spanish Inquisition, theological caliphates who
tend to stir up the masses.

Like the San Andreas Fault, Charlottesville was ready to go off at any time.



40 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2017 at 10:07 am

As a mostly-conservative woman living in Palo Alto, I appreciate any stand against hate. The young man who plowed his car into the crowd in Virginia should be tried, convicted and, when found guilty (as it currently appears quite obvious), executed for his murderous crime. Yes, I believe in capital punishment and feel that it is vital as a deterrent in a case like this.

At the same time, we also need to be careful about confusing "hate" for a "disagreement."

For instance, I heard many pundits and social media outlets talking about the recent memo from a (now-former) Google employee. I read that it was "sexist," "misogynistic" and "anti-diversity." I read so many articles about it that I expected that the guy who wrote it was some sort of "white supremacist" or crazed Westboro Baptist zealot.

When I finally read the actual "manifesto" (as it was described by CNN), I was surprised to find it thoughtful and well-written. This doesn't mean that I agree with all of it. In fact, I think that the author made it clear that he doesn't necessarily believe all of the things that he wrote but pointed out that others do. In fact, I felt that the post brought up some interesting perspectives to ponder.

As I said, I am a conservative woman living in an ideological area that seemed quite foreign to me when I first moved to Palo Alto. The Bay Area (and many parts of California) are a world apart in terms of sociopolitical mores and norms than many other places in America that I've lived, studied and worked. Whereas many liberals will point to some places as being conservative "bubbles," many conservatives feel the same way about places like Hollywood, the Bay Area or Boston.

Like my liberal friends, I am certainly opinionated about certain issues. We are all products of our own lives to this point. I hold views and beliefs that are born out of my upbringing, experiences, education and culture. I freely share those views and beliefs here on the Palo Alto Online.

Unfortunately, in this supposed land of "tolerance," I have felt ostracized at times (and even bullied). I've been mocked and ridiculed by anonymous individuals online for simply sharing a personal view -- one that is never motivated or charged with "hate." In life, I think that I get along with everyone and try to learn from any and every person that I encounter (including those who are very different from me).

At the same time, some stark differences of opinion and belief don't mean that those who tenaciously disagree with me somehow "hate" me. I don't feel a need for a "safe space" or a place where I can run from differences of opinion, belief or ideals.

Yesterday, someone responded to something that I wrote on the Palo Alto Online. I was writing my views about the Buena Vista trailer park. They referred to my posts as "evil." It certainly was a strange choice of words; and, it made me think about how bipolar we can often see the world. I disagreed with many of Barack Obama's policies. However, I would never have called him "evil." I wouldn't associate with individuals who saw him like that either. The same is true with Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.


Donald Trump wasn't my first (or second, third or fifth) choice for president. I just felt that he was the better remaining option. I didn't agree with some of his views (the record of his views were too liberal in many areas) and I certainly didn't like some of the things that he would tweet. However, I still feel that he was a better option compared with Hillary Clinton.

When I read posts (even here on the PA Online) where individuals engage in all manner of enraged and divisive rhetoric, it makes me think of the person who disagreed with my views about Buena Vista as "evil." The world is not black and white. The world is not red. I accept that people disagree with me -- and I feel that the art of compromise is something that is sadly disappearing in America.

The world needs less extremists -- whether they march in rallies, kill in the name of sociopolitical, racial or religious causes or point fingers at politicians and hatefully and publicly ridicule them as "orange tyrants" or "an empty pantsuit." We need to learn to live with one another through the nurturing of empathy (something that should be natural but may be pruned away by living in ideological bubbles or via media and social media exposure). When my family traveled around America to pick fields in Michigan, Kansas, Arkansas, etc., we learned to adapt and sense common ground (even when it may have been difficult to find).

A few months ago, the Palo Alto Online published an article about a high school student, Yusra Rafeeqi, who was inviting people to eat dinner with her family in order to change perspectives about Islam and Muslims. This was a brilliant idea that I think could go further than protests, TED talks or sociopolitical/cultural/religious symposiums. The art of empathy is overwhelming when people meet in person and in a setting free from a controlled narrative or agenda. It would be nice if this idea could spread everywhere.

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2017 at 10:23 am

@ Mark Silverman - That is an interesting perspective!

My husband and I took DNA tests with the Mountain View-based personal genomics company 23andMe. We were more interested in the health aspects of the service since we felt that we knew our racial and ethnic makeups. However, we learned some interesting things about our genetic heritage!

For instance, I leaned a bit more about my Native American heritage, but also that I have both Ashkenazi (Jewish) and Middle Eastern/North African genetic heritage! It probably goes back to ancestors from the Iberian peninsula. I also have some Sub-Saharan African genetic heritage too.

My husband and I were thrilled to learn these things. Since there is so much diversity in human beings, such tests might go a long way toward understanding who we are in the only race that matters -- the human race. As we have children and they later inevitably ask "what" they are, we can point them to such results and tell them that they are a little bit of everything in wonderful little packages.


17 people like this
Posted by dt
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 14, 2017 at 10:28 am

The CEO of Merck corporation resigns from the president's manufacturing council to protest the government's lack of response to domestic terrorism. In response, the president bullies him on Twitter instead of condemning the terrorists. The terrorists applaud his priorities.
CNN News report: Web Link


25 people like this
Posted by Call-A-Spade-A-Spade
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

The idea that suggesting that the so-called Antifa, and other groups, did not precipitate the violence in Charlottesville ignores the continuing violence of this group, and others on the so-called left, such as Black-Lives-Matter. It demonstrates at least a blind spot in the minds of those marching in support of Charlottesville. It also demonstrates an approval of violence by the Left.

[Portion removed.]

There is no argument that the "white nationalists" came to Charlottesville intent on a fight. But there is no evidence that these people intended to do to Charlottesville what the Occupy Oakland people, as well as the frequent rent-a-mob "protests" that occur in/around the Bay Area, have done to the communities that they have attacked.

Ignoring the intent of the Antifa to incite violence needs to be called out for what it is--an approval of violence by the Left.


16 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 14, 2017 at 11:06 am

From a review of this scene from the NYT:

"And at City Hall, a planned news conference by Jason Kessler, the white nationalist who organized Saturday’s rally, came to an abrupt end when a man wearing a plaid shirt punched him.

“Jason Kessler has been bringing hate to our town for months and has been endangering the lives of people of color and endangering other lives in my community,” the man, Jeff Winder, said in an interview later. “Free speech does not protect hate speech.”"

Sounds to me that one at fault is the counter-protester guy (Winder) who claims that the U.S. Constitution does not protect hate speech (it does).

BTW, I think it was Kessler who was on TV that I saw interviewed. He had his point of view, but he did not seem violent to me. He got punched out, then the violence erupted.


14 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 14, 2017 at 11:14 am

As expected we have people here trying to justify the actions of these nazi cowards and trying to compare them to BLM. Then there is the fact that the act of domestic terrorism was carried out by one of the lowlife nazis. Read Orrin hatch's comments about the Nazi marchers. They received bipartisan condemnation. And this morning their hero, Trump, condemned them.


8 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

I attended, the turnout was at best 225. The turnout was disappointing.


11 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

I find it very unsurprising that the *day after* you invade a town, attack the citizens, kill one civilian and trigger the death of two police, you're going to see people use force to deny you a platform to get your thugs going again.

The two events are in no way equivalent.

Deal with it.


Like this comment
Posted by Sea Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 14, 2017 at 11:29 am

Only cowards hurt the innocent.

Absolutely unacceptable.

respectfully


7 people like this
Posted by dt
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm

@Mark Silverman - I disagree with your analysis of white supremacy. While the white supremacists talk about missing their slave plantation-based cultural heritage, that was so long ago that it is really just talk now. How many of their ancestors really owned slave plantations like all those people represented in the statues that are being relocated right now?

What is driving the modern white supremacy movement is the economy. The white supremacists see minority Americans educating themselves and getting better jobs. They also see educated foreigners moving to the USA and getting good jobs. Meanwhile, their college education rates are lower than the USA average and their earning power is dropping. Who do they blame for their economic standing in modern times? Who was the only presidential candidate (besides David Duke) that catered to their prejudices directly?


1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Of course there would be kickback from the events in Charlottesville, from both sides, and Trump's words in his first statement re that terrible incident. He could have, and should have, simply addressed the perpetrators of that day's event, the white supremacists, but he made a broader statement which included the far left radicals that rioted, vandalized, and prevented conservative speakers from speaking at UC Berkeley's campus, and other venues around the country. One of our most cherished guaranteed liberties, freedom of speech, is being tested.

It's very tough to be a registered Republican in this area. People you want to call your friends, and ones you considered your friends for so many years, often treat you suspiciously, almost as an adversary, and not one of them, the enlightened ones. That's sad! There is such a divisiveness, with seemingly no willingness to seek compromise. It stalls and stifles governments from getting things done, at all levels, from cities, all the way up to our Federal Government.

Did our founding fathers get it right? Our form of government, our Constitution, with all it's amendments? (amendments are proof they didn't get it all right initially). Thankfully, most of us hold up the Constitution as the core document for all of our freedoms, and to support our form of government. Whatever the far left and far right groups want to do to destroy it is an abomination to what our founding fathers intended.

I plan to watch our CC meeting on TV tonight, after the members' long and well deserved summer break. I will probably see some of our local divisiveness displayed there. It's a ubiquitous thing, and diversity is not a bad thing, when kept under check, but when carried out in public protests that become violent...that's going too far.


27 people like this
Posted by Ignore 'em
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm

In a country with over 320 million population, a rally of a couple hundred kooks should be ignored - just like the Westboro Baptist Church. Neither is any significant, recognized entity, making any real impact. Instead the media delights on focusing on the extreme non-legitimate, outler groups with teensy impact on this huge country. Why? Controversy sells advertising.
Concentrate on meaningful things in your life, not the .00000001% who are "white supremacists."
And please do not lump all white prople in one group, we are extremely diverse in reality.


7 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2017 at 2:48 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 14, 2017 at 2:56 pm

When you ignore public display of militant hatred, people with marginal mental stability see their unopposed actions as indication of community support for attacking and killing people because of their religion or skin color.

Demonstrating community rejection of the hate prevents a lot of pain.


28 people like this
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Being a left-wing militant group by nature, wouldn't antifa be considered just as much of a public nuisance as a collective of white supremacists?

Now had they simply avoided the Charlottesville rally and attended their own meetings/gatherings, this disaster might have been avoided. A big if, but why add fuel to the fire?

Most street protests these days seem to be nothing more than a bunch of troublemakers getting together in an effort to disrupt everyday life. Some are even 'pro' activists who travel from town to town to create havoc.
[Portion removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

You can't demonstrate a community rejection of hate by holding a private gathering where nobody sees it. It has to be in public, and it has to be seen. Directly in front of the Nazis is works best -- it's absolutely clear what you're rejecting, and you don't have people who get the Nazi message but don't see the community rejection.

There is a proven method for preventing violence in this situation -- the police need to get between the two groups and keep them apart. This tactic was not used. The Nazis came with shields, body armor, and guns: ready to maim and kill. And they did.

I can only hope that the Sunday morning rally, and the vigil in the evening -- both completely peaceful events, are going to suffice to keep the local crazies from hurting and killing people around here.


10 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2017 at 3:22 pm

"Ignoring the intent of the Antifa to incite violence needs to be called out for what it is--an approval of violence by the Left."

The alt-righters came spoiling for a fight, and they got it. Now listen as they whine about it.


"Sounds to me that one at fault is the counter-protester guy (Winder) who claims that the U.S. Constitution does not protect hate speech (it does)."

The Constitution only protects you against government prosecution for peacefully speaking your mind. Read it. Face to face you are on your own, totally free to say what you want and to bravely take the consequences. Our whining rightie apologists always forget that "bravely" part.


"Call-A-Spade-A-Spade"

Easy to say. Why not try it on, um, Mike Tyson?


15 people like this
Posted by Polly S.
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

The violent far right and the violent far left paradoxically have a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship. Both believe in the use of violence to effect political change, both need a bogie man to justify and legitimize each others' violence.

The violent far right and the violent far left are pulling each other up by their boot straps. If this self-supporting mutual combat is allowed to continue one side will eventually win and one will lose, but democracy will have lost long before either side obtains a victory.


8 people like this
Posted by Call-A-Spade-A-Spade
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2017 at 4:03 pm

@Curmudgeon --

Did you watch any of the videos of this event? Most of the videos do not provide a lot of information as to what really happened. It's clear that the "white nationalists" did not come to town to attack the citizens of Charlottesville, or its residents. Sadly, one of these people did drive his vehicle into a crowd of people that he probably knew were counter-protesters. Until he is fully interrogated by the police, his motives are still unknown. He either came to town intending to do harm, or it was a spur of the moment decision. Only time will tell. Either way, his actions are indefensible.

If the Antifa had not come, or if the police had managed to separate the two groups--then this would have, in all likelihood, been a peaceful demonstration. But that's not what happened, so there is no value wasting time and talk about what might have been.

The so-called "alt-right" came to town expecting a fight, based on the violent actions of the Antifa. While there was clear combat, neither side "won". If the "alt-right" is "whining", it's only because their attempts to have a peaceful rally was interrupted by the Antifa, and the mainstream media seems to be blaming them.

Since the Weekly has deleted the links to the videos of Antifa, and other groups, raising hell after the inauguration of President Trump, hopefully you will find these videos on Youtube and watch them to remind yourself of just how violent the Left has been, can be, and will be as they try to assert their views of the future on all of us.

As to Mike Tyson .. say what?


7 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 14, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Call a space -- you may want to ignore the reality of what happened, but it is pretty clear that the nazis came to town itching for a fight
Web Link

And they young nazi deliberately drive his car into the crowd. All I hear from you and others Is the deflection " but, but, but antifa/blm/obama/hiillary etc".

Besides the bipartisan condemnation of the nazis, even Trump and sessions have spoken out against these nazis. And who is speaking like you? David duke.


3 people like this
Posted by Call-A-Spade-A-Spade
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm

@Shame-on-them

Yes .. the "alt-rights" (not only "Nazis") came to town for a demonstration, and prepared for a fight. What did the Antifa come to town for? And why are you only willing to look at one side of this issue.

If there had been a peaceful demonstration there would be plenty of room to criticize these people. But the Antifa came and made it a lot worse.

While both sides of this event are fringe elements of our wide political spectrum, what is the point of ignoring the Antifas when it comes to the violence they precipitate?


7 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Call a spade- so you want me to look at the nazi side of the issue? Yeah. Right. Read senator hatch's comments about his didn't die fighting the nazis to see them inciting violence info the streets. I am the son of a holocaust survivor - nazis for not have a side i care to look at.
AND who for we have supporting these nazis today -- you and David duke.


7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm

"If the "alt-right" is "whining", it's only because their attempts to have a peaceful rally was interrupted by the Antifa, and the mainstream media seems to be blaming them."

The alties came for a fight and they got it. Now they whine and snivel. Pitiful. If they want to stick their mugs in peoples' faces, that's their choice. But take the consequences like a man, like real men have done in many marches much more violent than this. Selma cones to mind.

Whining may recruit more whiners, but who wants to hang around with whiners? Whiners get zero respect, especially from those "inferior races."

Say, I see the liberal/RINO elites got to the alties' clayfooted idol DJT, who caved in today and parroted the full mainstream media line. Sigh. Can't depend on them gilded elite idols these days.

Bannon must resign. His boss is hopeless. The alties need a strong idol figure. DJT ain't reliable.


"As to Mike Tyson .. say what?"

Put your mug where your mouth is.


9 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Interesting how the left ignores the fact that antifa members showed up in black, wearing helmets, carrying shields, baseball bats and pepper spray.

It appears that they came with the explicit intent to cause harm and violence. The police allowed it, which is even more abhorrent.

I don't condone what either side stands for. It is sad what we have become.


7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm

"Interesting how the left ignores the fact that antifa members showed up in black, wearing helmets, carrying shields, baseball bats and pepper spray."

OK, fine. They came prepared and they engaged.

But now they ain't whining and sniveling. The alt-right is doing nothing but whining and sniveling. Super races just ain't what they used to be..


6 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

The reality is that the Nazis came there to attack people. They beat any black man they could catch on his own. Of course people fought back. Failing to do so is suicide. And the reality is that the "antifa" consisted of people who live in and around Charlottesville, which is why the public defender's office had a conflict of interest, and couldn't defend terrorist who drove a car into a crowd -- he was mowing down their staff.

Quit trying to pretend that this is anything other than a Nazi attack.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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