With only five hours notice Saturday, various Orange County activist groups got 150 demonstrators to a Santa Ana park to mount an "anti-racism response" to the sad and deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"A Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville" is also scheduled at noon today in Huntington Beach.
“I wanted to be around like-minded people right now,” one rallygoer at Sasscer Park, which is at Ross Street and Santa Ana Boulevard, explained Saturday evening (via Indivisible OC-46, a consortium of Orange County groups pushing for town halls with their congressional representatives).
Indivisible OC-46 joined the Orange County Racial Justice Collaborative and Together We Will OC, which is another social justice organization, in pulling together the event that included activists toting homemade signs with messages such as "Never Again," "Stay Focused" and “Make America America Again.”
Another sign, in a nod to the hit television program A Handmaid’s Tale, stated: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum." That loosely translated from Latin to mean "don't let the bastards hold you down," and it has become a rallying cry for feminists.
The Santa Ana gathering was in response to a car plowing into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, killing one person and hurting at least two dozen more. That capped two days of tensions that began Friday at the University of Virginia, where nazis and white supremacists toting tiki torches crashed an anti-racism rally that accompanied the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
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Over the tense weekend, two law enforcement officers died in the crash of a helicopter patrolling the clashes.
Those assembled at Sasscer Park, where there were no reports of friction or injuries, heard speakers from political action groups and immigration rights organizations. Indivisible OC-46 says the takeaway message was, "Orange County has a long way to go for all people to feel a sense of inclusion."
Those who missed that event and still want to attend one—or who went to the Santa Ana rally and want to keep the fire burning—should meet in front of the Huntington Beach Pier at noon today.
"Join us August 14 in front of the Huntington Beach Pier to peacefully take a stand against the bigotry and show our support for those who have been affected by racism and intolerance," say organizers, who share more information on Facebook.