Two summers ago, white supremacists and various militia groups rallied in Charlottesville and clashed with counter-protesters at the climax of what has been referred to as the “Summer of Hate.” Last year, city and state officials once again faced backlash after downtown was barricaded even after it was apparent that there was no imminent threat. This year, some residents enjoyed a peaceful weekend on and around the Downtown Mall, while others attended Unity Days events that replaced 2017’s display of racism.
Aug. 11 and 12, 2017, was the weekend of the Unite the Right rally, which ostensibly was in support of the city’s Confederate monuments and lead to the deaths of counter-protester Heather Heyer and two Virginia State Police pilots and the injury of many others. Since then, some of the issues that came to a head that weekend are unresolved. The City Council’s vote to remove the statues and civil and some criminal cases in deadly weekend still are in court. The community continues to grieve. Activists still are calling for Charlottesville to reckon with its past.
As a part of this push for reconciliation, Unity Days has a stated goal to “educate, inspire and honor people in our community to create movement towards healing and unity on a path for economic and racial justice.”
Below is an image gallery of the weekend.