N.J. vigils planned in response to deadly Charlottesville rally

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Several organizations in the Garden State plan to decry the violence in Charlottesville by hosting gatherings and vigils

Dozens of organizations throughout New Jersey plan to host vigils Sunday in response to violent protests in Charlottesville that left one dead and at least 34 injured.

The chaos broke out Saturday as white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed in the Virginia city.

A car plowed into the counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather D. Heyer, of Charlottesville. A 20-year-old from Ohio, James Alex Fields Jr., has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, among other charges, in the crash, authorities said.

Several organizations in the Garden State plan to decry the violence by hosting gatherings and vigils Sunday. 

From noon to 1 p.m., Mount Olive Democrats is hosting a gathering "against racism and injustice" at Budd Lake Beach in Budd Lake, the group said on Facebook.

"Hate has no home here," the group said. "Make a sign, bring your family, join together, stand up."

At 2 p.m., the People's Organization For Progress will host a press conference and rally to denounce the "racist violence and murder" in Charlottesville, as well as President Donald Trump's response to the protests.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka will join in on the rally at the Martin Luther King statue at 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Newark, according to a city news release. 

Also at 2 p.m., numerous organizations will host a vigil in Princeton to decry the violence and collect soaps and toiletries for Black Lives Matter Trenton to "wash away racism," the group said on Facebook. 

People will also gather at 5:30 p.m. at the Dillion Public Library in Bedminster, where protesters frequently gather to rally against the president. The library is near Trump National Golf Club. 

In Metuchen, representatives from the Metuchen Interfaith Clergy Association and the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter will gather at 6 p.m. between the library and borough hall near Main Street and Middlesex Avenue.

Metuchen Mayor Peter Cammarano will be at the event hosted in part by Democratic Activists of Metuchen, according to the event posted on Facebook.

A vigil will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Brookdale Park Archery Field in Montclair, according to grassroots organization NJ 11th for change. Another will start at the same time in Cranford.

At 7:30 p.m. in Tenafly, the Bergen Indivisible for Democracy will hold a candlelit vigil at the Tenafly Peace Plaza.

"What to bring?" the group wrote on Facebook. "A candle."

In Maplewood, people will gather at the Ricalton Sqaure from 7:30 to 9 p.m. to "set forth an action plan to fight white supremacy, fascism, anti-Semitism and bigotry in our community." People will march 8 p.m. to the skating shed in Maplewood Memorial Park, according to a Facebook event.

At 7:45 p.m., people will gather in Frenchtown at 1 Bridge St., for a vigil hosted by the Solebury Democrats. 

"We cannot let our country be pulled backwards and divided by race -- we must keep moving forward and embrace diversity and unity," the group said.  

Starting at 8 p.m. in Teaneck, Teaneck Women Together will hold a candlelit vigil at the corner of Teaneck Road and Cedar Lane. 

And at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, local ACLU and NAACP chapters will hold a vigil at 8 p.m. 

"It's been a terrible weekend -- filled with white supremacy, hatred, violence and bigotry," the event planners wrote on Facebook. "We know that this is not new or merely historical, but alive, validated by this administration and deeply impacting our communities."

In his response to the chaos, Trump said he condemned "this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides." During a press conference Saturday at his golf club in Bedminster, the president did not assess blame in the violent clash between white nationalist demonstrators and counter-protestors.

The White House on Sunday defended Trump's statement, saying it "of course" included all extremist groups.

"The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred," a White House spokesperson said Sunday, according to a pool report. "Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together."

Baraka and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker were critical of the president's statement, calling on Trump to name "the Neo-Nazi, white supremacist, Alt-Right hate for what it is."

"It is shameful that this violent and racist fascism has been given permission to rear its ugly head again bu the man who occupies the most powerful elected position in our nation," Baraka said in a statement. "By not calling out the white supremacists who act in his name and carry his spirit, President Donald J. Trump only encourages and empowers them."

Luke Nozicka may be reached at lnozicka@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @lukenozicka. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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Article N.J. vigils planned in response to deadly Charlottesville rally compiled by Original article here

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