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'Vigil Against Hate: Bridgeport Crowd Urged To Stand Up To Racism After Va.

Three of the participants at the vigil in Bridgeport on Sunday to protest violence in Charlottesville share a message. Photo Credit: Carolyn Vermont
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim speaks at the vigil Photo Credit: Carolyn Vermont
A crowd gathers on the McLevy Green in Bridgeport on Sunday for a vigil to protest violence in Charlottesville. Photo Credit: Carolyn Vermont

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A vigil was held on the McLevy Green in Bridgeport on Sunday to rally against the violence at a White Nationalist protest over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

"Join us as we condemn the terrorist acts happening in Charlottesville," said a Facebook post, calling it a "Vigil for Charlottesville and Against Hate."

About a hundred people gathered in the downtown plaza to hear from speakers and raise the voices against the outbreak of violence.

Eric Cruz Lopez, a pro-immigration activist, urged the crowd to confront racism and bigotry where ever they see it, according to the Connecticut Post.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville,” Lopez said. “But we need to think about the problem, all the people yelling and saying racists things. ... They have families, too. We have to be honest about what we are doing about it. It means telling your mother or your child that ‘You are being racist.’ ”

The event was co-hosted by a number of community activist groups, including C4D - Connecticut Students for a Dream; CTCore-Organize Now, Fairfield Standing United, Greater Bridgeport Young Democrats and CT Women's March.

Similar vigil were also held Sunday in Danbury and West Hartford.

Another vigil is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford. "Join us for a community vigil as we stand together against the hatred and violence demonstrated in Charlottesville, Va.," organizer said. "Hate is not welcome in our community."

It is sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien In partnership with the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut.

The violence erupted in Charlottesville, Va., after white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters Saturday.

The Virginia event was believed to be the largest group of white supremacists to gather in a decade. They descended on downtown Charlottesville to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Hundreds of others then arrived to protest the racism.

It turned deadly after a car plowed into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.

A Virginia state trooper and a pilot died in the crash of a police helicopter that was monitoring the event.

Click here to read the story at the Connecticut Post.

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