Over the weekend, a group of activist and clergy leaders in Charlottesville, Virginia—the site of a violent, racist White nationalist rally earlier this month—announced that they are walking to Washington D.C. to demand justice and equality. Today (August 28) marks the first day of “The March to Confront White Supremacy: Charlottesville to D.C.”
From an emailed statement about the march:
We know that this is a very dangerous moment in our nation’s history, a moment that requires action. We are marching to D.C. in the spirit of love, equity and justice like those before us did in the face of hatred and oppression. We will demand our country reckon with its long history of white supremacy, that our nation’s leadership side with those of us who will no longer abide it, and we call for the removal of all those, including the president, who refuse to do so.
With the support and participation of many groups, including, The Movement for Black Lives, Color of Change and the Women’s March, the 100-plus-mile trek will land marchers in Washington D.C. on September 6. Along the way, they will make various relevant stops, including at Confederate monuments like the one dedicated to Robert E. Lee that sparked the August 12 “Unite the Right” rally. When they reach D.C., participants will launch civil disobedience direct actions demanding the removal of President Donald Trump from the White House. Organizers intend to provide housing for participants and will hold mandatory trainings for those willing to risk arrest.
As the marchers make their way to Washington, D.C. over the next ten days, there are at least two people who won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Local newspaper The Daily Progress reports that Richard Wilson Preston, 52, was arrested on Saturday (August 26) on a charge of discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. He is the man seen in a recently surfaced video shooting a gun at Corey Long, the counter-protester seen holding off White supremacists with an improvised flame thrower. The video supports counter-protesters’ claims that police officers did not intervene when the neo-Nazis, White supremacists and White nationalists broke the law in the Virginia town on August 12.
WATCH: Man fired at another person in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. We handed ? to LE agencies. The man has been arrested & charged w a crime. pic.twitter.com/0vrXq4zNC0
— ACLU of Virginia (@ACLUVA) August 26, 2017
On the day before (August 25), Daniel Borden was arrested for beating Deandre Harris in a parking garage just steps from the Charlottesville Police Department headquarters. A video of the brutal beating went viral, and 20-year-old Harris suffered a broken wrist and a head injury that required 10 staples to close.
Borden, 18, was arrested in Cincinnati and charged with malicious wounding, which is a felony that could net him up to 20 years in prison. The New York Times reports that law enforcement officers issued a wanted poster for Alex Michael Ramos, 33, who also participated in the beating. He faces the same charge for the assault.
Ramos is one of five suspects who are still at large for the crime—a fact that does not escape the Harris family. “For Deandre and his family, news of the arrest of one of the six men that assaulted him comes five suspects short and 14 days too late,” their attorney, S. Lee Merritt, told press on Saturday. “Given that these men were identified by a journalist almost immediately, it appears that law enforcement sat on its hands for a couple of weeks before deciding they probably should arrest someone.” Journalist Shaun King launched a Twitter campaign to identify the perpetrators shortly after the video went public.
The vicious criminal assault of Deandre Harris by white supremacists. The clearest video.
ARREST THESE MEN. pic.twitter.com/oV13SGv1Uw
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 15, 2017
Beyond the arrests, the events in Charlottesville have sparked several additional rallies, including one this weekend in Berkley, California. Masked anti-fascist protesters clashed with White nationalists at a demonstration that the Los Angeles Times reports pulled in about 4,000 peaceful protesters carrying signs with slogans like, “Stand against hate.” Police told press that 14 people were arrested at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park on Sunday, which was originally supposed to serve as the site for the canceled “Say No to Marxism in America” rally, headlined by several far-right figures, including one known as “Based Stickman.”