August 12 in Charlottesville; Photo courtesy of Jill Harms

Charlottesville Next Steps

I am in Charlottesville. I am physically intact, but I am not okay. This is not okay. Our country is not okay. I have been involved in community organizing and community defense work here since the first Nazi torch rally over three months ago. The struggle has been daily. I have learned powerful lessons from anarchist people of color and Black Lives Matter activists here. We have amazing people fighting for all our well being, and I am eternally grateful.
And we need your help. The actions I share below are also written out here. Please do these things, share this post with everyone you know, and tell them why this is important to you.
4 specific actions you can do immediately to support Charlottesville.

  1. Provide financial support for ongoing mental healthcare, trauma counseling, and living expenses for Black organizers as well as victims of violence Friday and Saturday, especially people of color.
  1. Call the office of Judge Richard Moore of Charlottesville Circuit Court (434–970–3766) to urge him to dismiss an upcoming court case for which there is an August 30 hearing, disputing the ability of the City Council to remove the Robert E. Lee statue that white supremacists are defending. Here’s a sample script:

    I’m leaving a message for Judge Moore regarding the upcoming Monument Fund hearing, scheduled for August 30. As someone concerned about community safety, I strongly urge you to join the City of Charlottesville in dismissing this case, which will continue to sow violence in the community. Thank you.

    Also email this to Clerk of Court’s: [email protected] and Chief Deputy Clerk of Court: [email protected] and send written mail to:

    Hon. Judge Richard Moore
    Charlottesville Circuit Court
    315 E. High Street
    Charlottesville, VA 22902

    Subject Line:  Re: Payne et al v. City of Charlottesville (Case #CL-17-175)

  1. Petition the administration at the University of Virginia to publicly denounce white supremacist alumni Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, revoke their diplomas, and commit to ejecting them from UVA grounds if they ever show their faces there again. Until UVA takes these steps, it is complicit in the violence they engender.
  1. Petition Mayor Mike Signer and Councilwoman Kathy Galvin to change their votes against removing the Robert E. Lee statue and also to remove all other confederate monuments. These changes would signal that they have our backs against white supremacist hate as our elected leaders. Failing that, we ask for their resignation.

And 4 actions to organize locally.

  1. Do the research to identify Nazis in your community. Do not allow your community to be a platform for white supremacist fascism.
  1. Organize community defense networks to protect and defend each other now. The only reason why more people weren’t killed in Charlottesville on Saturday is that a wide variety of groups, particularly anarchist and antifa groups, protected each other when the police refused to do so.
  1. Take down all confederate monuments.
  1. And finally, continue to organize to end racial oppression and make reparations, in line with the Vision for Black Lives.

Pieces to read and share:

I have so much more to say. Please keep listening. Please continue to fight the rise of fascism. This is happening. Do something. Do a lot of things. This is, and must be, a life-changing moment, especially for those of us who are white, and mobilizing perhaps for the first time to confront white supremacy. Bring your best gifts to the struggle, and fiercely love.
Photo courtesy of Jill Harms.

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