Keeping peace in P’Slope: Locals rally in response to fatal Charlottesville violence

No hate: Congresswoman Yvette Clarke spoke at Grand Army Plaza, where hundreds of locals gathered to condemn the deadly voilence that broke out during last weekend’s white nationalist demonstrations in Virginia.
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They took it to the extremists.

Hundreds of Kings County activists occupied Grand Army Plaza on Aug. 13 to condemn the fatal violence that consumed a Virginia city on Aug. 12 when Confederate-flag-waving white supremacists clashed with anti-fascist protestors, leaving one person dead.

“What happened on Saturday was incredibly disturbing and upsetting, and people were looking for an outlet,” said Liat Olenick, co-founder of anti-extremist group Indivisible Nation BK, which organized the event. “One of the things a protest or rally offers is knowing you’re not alone in your outrage, and reminding us of all the work we have to do.”

The organization first called for the rally, which was announced on Aug. 10, in response to comments President Trump made last week that antagonized an escalating conflict with North Korea.

But the demonstrat­ion’s focus quickly turned south after fighting erupted between white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klan members — who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia to oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park — and counter-protestors who gathered to oppose the extremists. A 20-year-old man and alleged Nazi sympathizer drove his car into a crowd of non-violent demonstrators, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring several others before the conflict subsided.

Organizers of the Brooklyn rally were pleased by the number of locals who attended despite the short notice, according to Olenick, who said hundreds of participants gathered beneath the plaza’s historic Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch for the event.

“We were really happy,” she said. “When we called it, we were expecting something pretty small, and given how quick we put it out there, we were definitely pleased with the turnout.”

Protesting Brooklynites carried signs reading “peace and sanity” and “reject white supremacists” while shouting chants that included “No hate, no fear, stand up, fight back.”

They were joined by several area pols, including Councilmen Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) and Jumaane Williams (D–Flatbush), Assembly members Robert Carroll (D–Park Slope) and Jo Anne Simon (D– Downtown), Public Advocate Letitia James, and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D–Flatbush), whose petition to remove General Lee’s name from a street on Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton military base was denied by the U.S. Army this month.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:56 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Petey from Sunset Park says:
So the peaceful protestors want to "fight back"? Isn't that condoning violence? Also Ft Hamilton's connection to R E Lee has been a fact for over 100 years. Is this the first time elected representives realized he was confederate?
Aug. 16, 2017, 11:04 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Lee was the commander of Ft. Hamilton. The street was named for him well after as part of a healing process. It honors the warrior not the war. If the US Army could see their way to honoring a man who took up arms against them, get a clue about the context.

This morning they solved the problem of inequality by taking down a plaque on a tree in a deconsecrated church. The plaque was on a REPLACEMENT tree, as the original died, planted by Lee. THERE! Now everything is better. All those knees jerking at once, it looks like the Rockettes are in town!
Aug. 16, 2017, 12:08 pm
Bill from Fort Greene says:
Someone wanted the ugliness at Charlottesville. Who granted the permit to the KKK and then ordered the police to stand down as the antifa came to protest?
Aug. 16, 2017, 12:30 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Well aren't you special.....(snicker)
Aug. 16, 2017, 12:55 pm
Derek from Fort Greene says:
Exactly, Catherine. Park Slope holds the high ground. Isn't that where the exclusive real estate is, on Hills, Heights, Slope? Millionaire moral elitists live in their mansions on the hill. The deplorables live in hollows not hills or heights but out there in Midwood, Flatbush, the Rockaways. Of course they're all racists.
Aug. 16, 2017, 1 pm
Toonie from Staten Island says:
Nice rip off - same thing happened in Staten Island! Only two days earlier, and twice as big. Stop trying to be little Staten in Brooklyn - it's pathetic and you can't pull it off !
Aug. 17, 2017, 7:47 am
Mike from Brooklyn says:
There is zero reason to honor any traitors who took up arms in open rebellion against the USA.
Aug. 17, 2017, 12:54 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
Derek from Fort Greene, do you remember when this paper did a survey of the nannies in Park Slope and only about 10% of them had employers who were paying into Social Security for them? These employers will say the nannies prefer it that way. Sure they do, because they are young and short-sighted, not thinking of their future. And the Park Slope liberals take advantage of that.
Aug. 17, 2017, 1:26 pm
Matt from Brooklyn says:
Aug. 17, 2017, 5:05 pm
Winnie Pubaire from Park Slope says:
I'm so glad that they were able to keep the peace despite gathering together so many agressive and violent alt-left groups. The organizers deserve a massive kudos for keeping these dangerous types under control (mostly) for the entire few hours of this event. I hope this can be a model for them in the future, so that they do not have to create a violent riot every time they meet anymore.
Aug. 18, 2017, 6:45 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
After hearing what Trump had said about what happened in Charlottesville, it makes me glad to say this, "Don't look at me, I voted I for Hillary."
Aug. 18, 2017, 3:28 pm
Hamilton from Da Slope says:
I find it amusing they are making a fortune on a play about me, that has a minority cast .The question I have to ask, is why are they allowed to make a fortune on a slave owner like me and insist on tearing down my statue
Shouldn't the limp wrist liberals be demanding the play that glorifies me be shut down
And by the way, the Civil War was not started over slavery, it started over the Morrill Tariff Act of 1861
That had the North Imposing a 40 Pct Tax on Imports to the South
But how would the so called Collage Educated know that.
Aug. 20, 2017, 8:34 am

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