After a white supremacist rally turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, activists across the country, including those in Baton Rouge, held solidarity events Sunday for the counter-protesters.
Six Baton Rouge-area groups joined for a march and flashlight rally Sunday evening between the steps of the state capitol and the Mississippi River levee.
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One group leader, Rain Araneda, explained they were holding a "flashlight vigil" rather than a candlelight vigil because fire is "intimidation." She referenced the white supremacist march on Friday night in Virginia when participants used flaming tiki torches.
"There's going to be more of that resistance … and we are here to show them that we are not afraid of their tiki torch tactics," Araneda said.
In Charlottesville on Saturday, one person was killed and dozens injured in after a silver Dodge Challenger sped down a street and into a crowd of people, and two state troopers were killed in a helicopter crash after they had been deployed to monitor the protests and counter-protests.
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By contrast, the march in Baton Rouge was peaceful, with protesters outlined by the sun setting across the river.
Shamaka Schumake, Baton Rouge Organizing executive director, brought her 5-year-old daughter, Chancellor, who chanted, sang and danced with the group.
"There's no fear on this Earth that can stop the power of love," Schumake said.
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One participant, Pam Trowbridge, talked about Heather Heyer, the woman killed in the Charlottesville attack. Trowbridge told the Baton Rouge crowd that Heyer lives through them.
"Heather is gone, but Heather's life lives on here and at every other gathering across the country," Trowbridge said. "Life conquers death and love trumps hate."
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