TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A group of activists from across the US, singing spirituals and protest songs from the civil rights era, began a 118-mile march to Washington to protest white supremacy and demand removal of President Donald Trump from office.
The long walk will last 10 days and take the marchers across the heart of Virginia — a road of solidly red counties — then straight to the seat of American power, where they plan to engage in protests and non-violent civil disobedience.
“We need the country to listen to us, if there’s going to be change, if we’re going end all the racial hatred,” Joseph Scott, 23, who works in dining services at the University of Virginia said to US-based Los Angeles Times newspaper.
Scott was among the thousands of people who took to the streets of Charlottesville, Va., a scenic college town, earlier this month to counter far-right activists who staged a pair of rallies that ended in violence and death.
Dozens were injured in fights, and a counter-protester was killed when a car plowed into the swarm of people.
On Monday, under the waning light of an overcast summer evening, organizers of the “March to Confront White Supremacy” called for peace and unity in a series of impassioned speeches before beginning the first leg of their procession.
They also spoke out against the president, placing much of the blame for a rise in white nationalist fervor on his shoulders. They say Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened the voices of racism that arrived in Charlottesville, a rapidly growing liberal enclave in rural central Virginia.
“The president will issue an executive order to address voter fraud that doesn’t exist,” said Cornell William Brooks, the scholar, minister and former president of the NAACP. “When is he going to issue an executive order condemning and confronting the white supremacy that most certainly does exist?”
In Washington, hundreds of clergy members marched to the US Department of Justice on Monday to protest the words and actions of Trump.
The Charlottesville events have been coincided with the Trump order for pardoning a former sheriff Joe Arpaio, the retired Arizona lawman who was convicted for intentionally disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case.
People in the US are relating the White Supremacy actions with Trump anti-immigration and racist measures.
Meantime, the US based Politico newspaper wrote, “Several thousand religious leaders rallied next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington on Monday and marched to the Department of Justice to protest both the Trump administration and displays of racism at the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia."
Not every speaker singled out President Donald Trump specifically, but many did — bemoaning both his administration’s policies (and those of Attorney General Jeff Sessions) and his response to the violence in Charlottesville.
The president has been widely condemned for suggesting that some “very fine people” were marching alongside white supremacists and neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville protest, where a woman was killed in a car attack.
“My God, why can’t you speak out against the KKK?” pleaded the Rev. Leslie Copeland-Tune of the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative.