Hundreds gather in Knoxville Market Square in solidarity with Virginia

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Hundreds of people came together for a peaceful counter-protest Sunday afternoon in Market Square.

The “Stand Against Hate” Rally was put together as a response to Saturday’s violent clashes and car ramming in Charlottesville, Virginia. The message on signs and from speakers was that all of Knoxville stands in solidarity with Virginia.

15th District State Representative Rick Staples spoke during the rally to share words of encouragement and action. Knoxville City Council candidates Seema Perez and Jack Knoxville, former city council member Theotis Robinson Jr. and Taylor Prince with the Democratic Socialists of America spoke at the event.

County Commissioner Evelyn Gill also spoke, sharing words of warning to the crowd about the importance of their work.

“It can happen anywhere. That is the issue that we are all grappled with. If it can happen in Virginia, it can certainly happen in Tennessee,” said Gill.

The Women’s March Coalition, who hosted the event, say they were focused on showing solidarity and support for people who have been on the receiving end of bigotry, discrimination, micro-aggression, violence, and hate.

“One of the things that very much gets lost in all the chaos, all the fighting and the standing together and the protesting. We forget to stand together and love together. Love doesn’t matter what color you are.” said Vincyl Fitzgerald, a counter-protester from Knoxville.

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