CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A peaceful gathering at McGuffey Park spread a message that love is stronger than hate. The People's Action for Racial Justice brought together all walks of life for a peaceful protest against all forms of white supremacy and racial intolerance.

Groups were in McGuffey and Justice Parks holding signs like "Defend Cville" and "Un-knight the right."

"Take your hate back home, hate is not welcome here, we do not believe in one group being higher than another, we do not believe in one race being higher than another, we are all people,” David Straughn of Black Lives Matter in Charlottesville said.

"White supremacy has existed since the dawn of this country, It’s part of what this country is built on and it hurts people of color, it hurts everybody and it needs to be dismantled,” peaceful protester Sara Brickman said.

McGuffey Park was also being used as a safe space for protesters with snacks and water.

Peoples Action For Racial Justice Charlottesville Press Release: 

On August 12, 2017 Peoples Action for Racial Justice (PARJ) will be held in Charlottesville’s McGuffey and Justice Parks from 9AM to 7 PM. Our mission is to demonstrate against the messages of racial intolerance and hatred advocated by white nationalist groups rallying under the banner “Unite the Right” at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville on the same date from 12-5 PM.  

PARJ is sponsored by Together Cville and The Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice. 

The Peoples Action for Racial Justice will be a peaceful protest against all forms of white supremacy, racial intolerance, and discrimination. It will be a demonstration for racial inclusion and racial justice in Charlottesville and across our nation as a whole.  

The intention of PARJ is to focus on lawful assembly in support of direct actions in protest of the “Unite the Right” rally in an effort to bring attention to the struggle to end white supremacy and all forms of discrimination, and to promote racial justice and equity. 

Organizer Walt Heinecke said, “White supremacy happens all the time, it is the rule not the exception. If the people of Charlottesville and the nation are waiting for the right moment to organize for a racially just and truly multicultural society, this is the moment to become focused. This is not about statues, it’s about statutes. The PARJ will focus on what citizens can do going forward on August 13 to build a stronger community based on the principles of racial harmony and justice.”

Numerous events will be held throughout the day on August 12 at the two parks in support of community and justice. There will be information, teach-ins, and speakers, in addition to prayer and meditations, music and art, and an opportunity for respite from direct actions taking place around Emancipation Park or McIntyre Park. We anticipate marches in and out of McGuffey and Justice parks. The day will conclude with closing speeches at Justice Park from 5:30-7 PM.

We acknowledge there will be a significant number of people in the downtown area and urge all parties to engage in non-violent, civil protest and to be prepared if engaging in direct action. We ask that people coming downtown bring extra food and water to share and to bring ponchos for rain rather than umbrellas. 

Our goal is to lawfully and peacefully assemble for racial justice and equity. 
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