St. Louis rallies spread messages of ‘solidarity and justice’ following violent clashes in Charlottesville

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ST. LOUIS – The events that unfolded in Charlottesville has sparked a movement across the country to bring people together in solidarity.

That included dozens of people rallying in St. Louis condemning what they say were acts of pure violence. 


On Sunday, two rallies were held in St. Louis.


Attendees said that they gathered to show that they will stand together and fight for justice.


Chanting antifascist and pro-diversity slogans more than two hundred people turned out holding signs, placards and candles at the History Museum.


The local crowd, both young and old including people of many backgrounds, stood listening to several passionate speakers sharing their outrage over the violent clashes in Charlottesville.


"I'm here to elevate the voices of people of color who otherwise may not get their voices heard unfortunately," said Johanna Hartlein of Illinois, "so I think the most important thing that we can do is listen to black voices and listen to other people of color."


The late Sunday evening rally drew several other people – some from local activist groups, others with their friends and some people walking by like Toby Jones. 


"We're in front of the history museum, the theme here is civil rights," Jones said, "I love it because it's letting the world know that we stand for love."


Rally attendees even held a moment of silence for Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in Charlottesville, after a car crashed into the crowd.


Missouri State Representative Doug Beck who also attended the rally, said that while he is saddened and disheartened by the violence over the weekend, this is not the time to stand back in silence.


"There's a lot of fear out there," Beck said, "but to me, I don't understand that. I don't understand the fear aspect of it. We are all one people and that's part of the reason why I'm a democrat and not being political here, our party is everybody."


Early Sunday afternoon, a group of local black church leaders also came together but on the steps of the Old Courthouse building downtown where many said that they are standing in solidarity while condemning the violence that swept the rally in Charlottesville.


"Obviously like the rest of the world, many many faith leaders watched in utter shock and disappointment with white supremacists just rolling through the streets," said Cassandra Gould, Executive Director of Missouri Faith Voices, "so we are coming together to stand together with them in solidarity."