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Charlottesville Solidarity Vigil promotes peace in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Hundreds of people got together for a candlelight vigil on Monday night to show support for the Charlottesville community.

The vigil was hosted by Indivisible Indiana District 2 and was held at John Hunt Plaza.

Organizer Edward Liptrap says he wanted people to connect with each other and take a stand against racism and bigotry.

“I don’t want my children growing up in a society where that’s (racism) acceptable. I served in the U.S. Navy so that people wouldn’t have to put up with that. I think this is not only bringing out the people who care but also connecting them with people who feel like they’re being ignored in this community or feeling like nobody cares. I want them to understand there are people out there who care out there and don’t think this is acceptable,” says Liptrap.

Many brought signs to promote peace and inclusion in the community.

St. Mary’s student Megan Uekert attended the vigil with a group of her classmates.

“Obviously the Charlottesville protests were not peaceful by any means and we are just here to support the black community and anybody effected by white supremacists and anti-Semitism,” says Uekert.

Speakers addressed disparities in equality they’ve noticed in our own community, demanding answers from Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Mayor Buttigieg told the crowd he heard from Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer just one week ago, who feared he wouldn’t be able to stop the violent protests in his city.

Mayor Buttigieg made it clear that hatred has no home here.

“I would not be here if I thought everything was going along just fine…We will stand up to anybody who can look at the history of racism and Nazism see anything but something that belongs in the dustbin of history,” says Mayor Buttigieg.

Lifelong South Bend resident Clara Ross says she worries the violence in Charlottesville could happen anywhere. She says the vigil

“I’m here as a woman in sorrow for what has happened not far from here and yet it could be here. I feel hopeful, I feel happy. I was very excited to see all of the different people who came out to show a united front that’s united in what we are standing against and standing for, “says Ross.

Organizers are encouraging the community to also attend a rally on Tuesday to Support the Dreamers, those protected under the DACA program. Click here for the information.

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