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Hundreds of Counter Protests and Vigils Spring Up in Wake of Charlottesville

Charlottesville rally

The events that occurred on Friday were horrific but people are joining together in protest. 

America is coming to grips with the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. that occurred this weekend when white supremacist groups bearing Nazi symbols and tiki torches gathered to protest the removal of that town's statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Three people died in the violence, including 32-year-old Heather Heyer who was struck down by a white supremacist who plowed his car into a crowd of peaceful counter protesters. But out of the hate and carnage have sprung acts of unity and kindness, proving that there are still plenty of people in the country who value human life and difference, even if they're not the people sitting in the White House. From the start of the Unite the Right white supremacist rally through Sunday afternoon there were hundreds of counter protests, marches, and vigils against hate throughout the country, according to USA Today.

Among the counter protests and actions that have sprung up throughout the country since the hateful rally began on Friday was a group of people not from Charlottesville who took the opportunity to something kind and hand out book bags and school supplies to the community.

On Sunday, more than 250 people rallied in Greenville, S.C. chanting "we will not tolerate racism" and "love Trumps hate" (one of Hillary Clinton's election-time slogans).

"What we're trying to do here today is stand in solidarity with African Americans, with Jews, with the LGBT community, with people who are the object of white supremacy and white racism," Todd May, a Clemson University philosophy professor and one of the organizers of the rally, told USA Today.

In Colorado, hundreds marched to the State Capitol in Denver to protest the horrifying events that occurred in Charlottesville.

More than 1,000 marchers in Seattle organized a Solidarity Against Hate protest to counter the "Freedom Rally," organized by the pro-Donald Trump group Patriot Prayer. While the event was mostly peaceful, a few marchers tangled with police officers lining the march, NBC affiliate King 5 reported.

In Los Angeles on Sunday, hundreds of people gathered to protest the events in Charlottesville, according to the Los Angeles Times. Protesters were joined by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (who had the grim responsibility of announcing Harvey Milk's and Mayor George Moscone's assassinations to the public) said in no uncertain terms, "Violent acts of hate and bigotry have no place in America. Violence like this will solve nothing and will only beget more violence and sow more division."

Prior to a game on Sunday, the WNBA team the NY Liberty held a moment of silence prior to "The National Anthem" to honor the lives lost in Charlottesville.

Responding to the violence, the mayor of Lexington, Ky. announced that Confederate-era monuments would be removed from the city, according to CNN. Mayor Jim Gray had planned to make the announcement about taking down the monuments later this week but tweeted his intentions early.

"The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week," Gray tweeted. He followed that up tweeting, "Today's events in Virginia remind us that we must bring our country together by condemning violence, white supremacists, and Nazi hate groups."

Around the country, vigils and protests continue to spring up. There will be a candlelit vigil Sunday night in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park, the scene of the white supremacist rally, to honor Heyer, whose life was taken from her as she marched against hate.

Find an event to stand against the hate that occurred in Charlottesville here.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist