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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Candlelight Vigil Monday in solidarity with Charlottesville victims

Community residents, students and faculty gather at
a vigil at UVA in solidarity with the victims and against
hatred and violence. (Photo: USAToday)

Across the country, communities are gathering in vigils and other community events to show solidarity with the victims of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12th.

Plainfield will host its community candlelight prayer vigil Monday, August 21, at City Hall Plaza, beginning at 7:30 PM. For more on who is participating, see Rebecca's blog here.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp and the Plainfield City Council invite residents to join with them, Plainfield clergy and community leaders in the service.

The incident in Charlottesville, which is also the home of UVA (the University of Virginia) was sparked by a protest rally by right-wing nationalist groups entitled "Unite the Right" that was set for that weekend. Other right-wing groups -- including the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi organizations -- joined them as the raally got under way.

The original permit was issued to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. However, when baseball bats, clubs and shields were brandished, it seemed that the intent had become to provoke a violent incident.

These elements clashed with counter-protesters who came out to oppose the rally. The counter-protesters included local racial justice, faith-based groups and peace organizations. They also appear to have been joined by ANTIFA (or anti-Fascist) groups who go around the country looking to pick fights with right-wingers.

A car plowed into a group near the rally, killing Heather Heyer, 32, a Charlottesville resident who was protesting the nationalist rally and injuring nearly 20 others. The driver of the car, James Alex Fields Jr., who seems to have been with one of the groups that joined the origina sponsoring organizations, is in custody and has been charged with second degree murder.

Hours later, two Virginia State Troopers, who were surveilling the scene from the air, were killed when their helicopter crashed.

City Hall Plaza is in front of City Hall, at Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. Parking is available in the lot behind City Hall.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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