One year after a white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville led to the death of an anti-racist counter-protester, conservatives are planning to hold an anniversary march in the nation's capitol. Local groups are already planning to hold counter-demonstrations at the event — but you don't have to live in Washington D.C. to protest the "Unite The Right 2" rally on Saturday.
According to the rally's official website, the far-right organizers are taking steps to avoid the flood of negative publicity that followed last year's event, when demonstrators carried Nazi flags and chanted "Jews will not replace us." At this year's rally, only American or Confederate flags will be allowed, and attendees are being told not to bring weapons or shields.
Shut It Down D.C., a coalition of 38 different anti-racist groups in the area, is organizing a counter-protest and several other events over the weekend, and is "calling all anti-fascists and people of good conscience to participate," according to a press release.
But if you don't live in the D.C area, don't worry — there are still ways you can protest Unite The Right this weekend.
To start with, activists in several cities across the country will be holding events in solidarity with the counter-protesters. Charlottesville in particular will be holding several events over the weekend, and here's a list of other cities that are. If you want to support the anti-racist rallies and show your opposition to Unite The Right, attending a local event one way you can do so.
Another direct way to show your support is by donating to the anti-racist groups organizing the counter-protests. After all, coordinating these things takes time, effort, and money — especially when over 1,000 people are expected to attend, which is the case with this weekend's counter-protest in D.C.
The Washington D.C. wing of Black Lives Matter is one of the many groups participating in the counter-protests this weekend, and it's raising money for its efforts. You can donate here, knowing that money will go to an organization that will continue to fight racism even after Unite The Right 2018 is over and done with.
Additionally, you may want to consider giving to DefendDC, another group that's helping protest Unite The Right. According to their fundraising page, the money they raise will go toward promoting the protests, securing permits for speakers, and creating a legal fund for any supporters who find themselves in trouble after the event — something that's happened to leftist protesters in D.C. in the past.
Even if you don't live in the D.C. area, you might have friends who do. As such, a great way to support the counter-protests against Unite The Right from afar is to give their events a signal boost on social media. Shut It Down D.C.'s Twitter account is regularly posting calls to action and information about upcoming events, and the same goes for Black Lives Matter D.C.'s account. Keeping tabs on their events and amplifying them when possible is an excellent way to support their efforts— especially if you have friends who do live close enough to attend a rally.
Finally, activists have released a toolkit, which they're promoting with the #FightWithCVille hashtag, for anybody seeking to organize local counter-protests or, more broadly, fight racism in their day to day lives. If you're opposed to Unite The Right, it's definitely worth taking a look at.
"The actions organized by the Shut it Down DC Coalition will send a message that—in spite of the efforts of white supremacy, generation after generation, to destroy us as Black, Jewish, queer, Muslim, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, women, immigrant, disabled, union, sex worker, and poor communities – we are still alive, we are still here, and the resilience and solidarity we’ve built together has made us stronger than ever," Shut It Down D.C. said in press release.