People protest in many different ways. Some opt to march, to write letters, or boycott. Some would rather dance. This was the case on Sunday, when an LGBTQ group organized a "ResisDance" queer dance party to protest white nationalists on the anniversary of the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally that left one woman dead last August.
"Nazis and white supremacists are coming into our town after having killed individuals, after having terrorized communities like in Charlottesville," event co-organizer Firas Nasr told The Hill. "So we want to send a really clear message that we will not tolerate their hate, their bigotry, their racism, their xenophobia in our city and in our country."
The event took place in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The event's Facebook page characterized the ResisDance as equal parts protest and celebration.
"While nazis and white supremacists spread an ideology of racism and genocide, we are here to fiercely and unapologetically celebrate our communities and our existence — and of course drown them out with bumpin’ beats and lots of rainbow biodegradable confetti!" the page read.
Organizers underscored that, above all else, they meant business. "As these individuals descend on our city, now is the time to show up and let them know that their legacy of violence is over," they wrote on the event page. "We're trans. We're queer. We're fabulous. We're sick of your Nazi shit. Don't f*ck with us."
According to the Washington Blade, a locally-based LGBTQ news outlet, the organizers behind the event — ResisDance Media — did not release the official time and location of the dance party until close to its starting time. This, the Blade reports, was because of security concerns.
Ultimately, however, the event did go on, and several images and videos on Twitter showed a sizable number of attendees. Participants wore brightly colored clothing and smiled widely for photographs.
ResisDance Media wasn't the only LGBTQ group to promote a response to Sunday's Unite the Right 2 rally. The Human Rights Council helped spearhead a #UnitedAgainstHate "Digital Weekend of Action," which encouraged its members to spread counterprotest messages online.
"One year ago, white supremacists and neo-Nazis launched a violent, deadly attack on people of conscience in Charlottesville who were peacefully protesting their bigotry,” Human Rights Council President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “The horrific violence that occurred, and the murder of Heather Heyer, tragically reinforced the extent to which racism, anti-Black violence, anti-Semitism, bigotry and xenophobia continue to plague America. ... We must use our voices, our power and our energy to be good allies, fight white supremacy and be united against hate in all of its forms."
The ResisDance was one of several counterprotests planned to demonstrate against the white nationalist "Unite the Right 2" rally scheduled to take place on Sunday in Washington, D.C. The original Unite the Right rally took place in August 2017, and one woman named Heather Heyer died after a person drove into a crowd of counterprotesters.
When President Trump declined to condemn the rally and its organizers in the event's immediate aftermath, he inadvertently sparked an ongoing national debate about cracking down on white supremacy. Sunday's ResisDance is just one of the many protest methods that activists have come up with to combat neo-Nazi rhetoric.