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."