By W.B. Reeves
Thousands turned out in downtown Atlanta Aug. 20 to oppose white supremacy and to honor the memory of Heather Heyer, the young woman murdered by a Nazi/white supremacist in Charlottesville, VA a week earlier. Gathering at Centennial Olympic Park adjacent to CNN Center, the swelling crowd heard speeches from representatives of various groups making up the sponsoring Georgia Resists coalition, which includes the American Friends Service Committee, Black Lives Matter Atlanta, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, Georgia Moral Monday, Georgia NAACP, NAACP Atlanta, NAACP Beacon Hill, SisterCARE Alliance,SOS-Save OurSelves and the Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America. The park was the site of the 1996 Olympics bombing by right wing terrorist Eric Rudolph, which killed one and injured 111.
Former state legislator and mayoral candidate Vincent Fort called for a moment of silence to honor Heather Heyer before stirring the crowd with a call-and-response chant of “Fired up!, ready to go!”
The crowd moved out down Marietta Street with chants of “The people, united, will never be defeated!”, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” On the way it passed the sculpture of Henry Grady where white racist mobs had thrown the bodies of murdered black men at the foot of the statue during the 1906 race riot. They continued through the central business district, their voices echoing and re-echoing off the high rise buildings that surrounded them. Along the way they were applauded and cheered on by pedestrians.
The march concluded at the M.L. King Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change where Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King rest side by side in a common crypt. Local news outlets gave the rally and march extensive coverage.
W.B. Reeves is a member of Metro Atlanta DSA.
This article originally appeared in Daily Kos.
Photo at left by Steve Eberhardt