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A few dozen people gathered Saturday night in west Baltimore for a rally in solidarity with Charlottesville, Virginia.
Some of the speakers at the rally had just returned from Virginia. Those at the rally said what happened in Charlottesville could happen anywhere.
“What’s going on in Charlottesville is indicative of what’s going on in the entire country right now,” said Kelly Dietrich
The rally was held in west Baltimore in front of the CVS store that was set on fire during the riots in April 2015.
Charlottesville was the site of a violent clash Saturday between thousands of white nationalists and counter protesters. Dietrich returned to Baltimore Saturday evening.
“It’s definitely something that changes you, I think, to witness in person, so everyone is very shaken up by what happened,” Dietrich said.
“Someone died today. We were up there today with other people and that was someone that was on our side with us helping us, and they died,” said Al Shiflett, who attended the rally in west Baltimore.
Reacting to the violence in Charlottesville, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh issued a statement on Twitter, saying, “Our city stands with Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer. Our diversity is our strength.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stronger statement on his Facebook page, saying: “Violence, hate, and bigotry of all kinds must be confronted and condemned. The disgusting and vile acts taking place in Charlottesville have absolutely no place in our society and must be stopped. American values have nothing to do with white supremacy and hate, and Maryland will continue to stand in strong opposition to those who use it for personal or political gain.”
“Most of the time, it’s pretty empty. It’s pretty easy to say, ‘We condemn the acts of white supremacy,’ but until it’s reflected in real legislation and real action, there’s no reason to believe anyone,” Shiflett said.
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, released a strong statement condemning the violence, saying, in part, “Our words of condemnation must be followed by actions to ensure those responsible for white supremacist violence are held to account and brought to justice.”