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Aug 15, 17

Lansing, MI: Emergency Vigil in Response to Charlottesville Attacks

In response to the August 12th neo-nazi attack in Charlottesville, VA, community organizers with Solidarity and Defense hosted an emergency solidarity vigil the following day at the Michigan state capitol building in Lansing.

Despite having less than 24 hours to organize, the event was widely shared and drew a crowd of upwards of 300 people coming together to celebrate the life of Heather Heyer, show solidarity with those injured and affected, and condemn the actions and growing threat of white supremacists. Over a dozen people made use of a megaphone to address the crowd and share their feelings and concerns.

The only pushback we experienced from the fascists and their sympathizers was from 3 folks. One, a local high school student, had been harassing organizers and attendees the night before on-line, and goaded one of our comrades into a fight as the event started. Police separated the two and took our friend into custody to a chorus of boos, leaving the kid with his poorly drawn MAGA sign standing in the crowd. Big surprise.

As the event wrapped up, a box was passed around and the money needed for our comrade’s bail was quickly raised. The bail was posted, and they were out of the cell no more than 2 hours after being put in. A small victory in the face of continuing discrimination by the police, but a victory made greater in the context of the larger success of the demonstration.

The message from Lansing is clear: White supremacy will NOT be tolerated, the victims of the horrific attacks in Charlottesville will NOT be forgotten, and our community will NOT be intimidated by those who seek to do us harm!

Love and Rage,
Michigan’s Solidarity and Defense

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