Athens Community Rally to Support of Charlottesville Victims

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Chants of solidarity filled the air as dozens of community members sent a clear message of support of those killed or injured in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

“Today is about affirming that we are all screwed up and it is that screwed-upness that unites us and brings us closer together,” delfin bautista said. “All of us are impacted by white, cis, male, hetero, ableness, and many other forms of supremacy. Today is about solidarity. Today is about allyship. Today is about healing.”

The rally in Athens was one of hundreds held across the country — denouncing the violence and racism of the white supremacists gathered in Virginia.

“I just thought that me and my friends should come out today and stand with the victims that have fallen,” Robyn Heard, an Ohio University student said.

Also at the rally was Ohio University student Daniel Kington, who is a friend of Hockingport resident Bill Burke, who was injured after a car driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields, Jr. plowed through a crowd of counter protesters.
Burke suffered significant head injuries according to his wife, but is expected to recover.

“We have been thinking about how we can support him as our friend and comrade,” Kingston said.  “And so we’ve been very concerned with fundraising efforts and coming together about solidarity in the community.”

The crowd demonstrated some of that solidarity by singing happy birthday to Burke, whose birthday was on Sunday.

For those at the rally, they hoped it sends the message about what kind of community they want Athens to be.