These Unite The Right 2 Counter-Protest Signs Show How People Are Speaking Out Against Hate
One year after tiki torches and a white nationalist gathering that left one counter-protester dead, the Unite the Right rally is back — this time in Washington, D.C. On Sunday, Unite The Right 2 attracted counter-protesters with signs to show opposition to the KKK, Nazis, and to keep the memory of Heather Heyer alive.
Jason Kessler said in his permit application for the white supremacist rally that the Unite the Right 2 event would host anywhere from 100 to 400 people at Lafayette Square near the White House, according to the Associated Press. In contrast, hundreds of people gathered at different metro stations in D.C. to greet Unite the Right 2 attendees before gathering at Freedom Plaza to counterprotest Kessler's group hours before the original gathering was to begin.
USA Today reported that the counterprotesters chanted "No KKK, no fascist USA" and "Chop, chop, chop, chop, this racism crap has got to stop." A group of counterprotesters unfurled a large banner reading, "No! Drive out Trump/Pence Fascist Regime" during Sunday's rally as well.
The counterprotest featured a large swath of people with signs, chanting, and speakers. "Our message is to let everyone know we support each other," Maurice Cook, a co-organizer with the March for Racial Justice, told CNN. Counterprotesters were encouraged to express themselves "whichever way you feel comfortable in expressing your civil liberties."
Heather Heyer's Memory Was A Large Presence
Signs Called Out Hate Speech
One protester's sign read "HATE SPEECH HAS NO PLACE HERE" with a black X through "HATE SPEECH" and the latter half of the sign in rainbow lettering. The protester was at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.
One father from Baltimore brought his daughter to Washington, D.C. for the protest on Sunday. Her sign read, "BLACK LIVES MATTER" while his read, "CTRL ALT-RIGHT DELETE." (Crtl + Alt + Delete is a shorthand to reboot a computer.)
He told Michael Quander, a reporter with WUSA in Maryland, that "bumper stickers are no longer enough."
The Protesters Even Met The Alt-Right At The Metro Station
Counterprotesters waited at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro Station in Vienna, Virginia. Their signs were a lot more colorful than many protest signs. The signs read, "Go Home Nazis" with a middle finger extended, while another reads "GIVE THEM A PLATFORM" with a guillotine platform drawn underneath.
Even Captain America Showed Up — Sort Of
The signs expressed a wide variety of cultural touchstones. One woman's sign read, "We Shalom Overcome" with a rainbow Star of David. A small group brought a large puppet of anarchist political activist Emma Goldman, which held a banner reading, "If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution."
Someone else's sign invoked Captain America, a known Nazi puncher: "A Punch A Day Keeps Nazis Away." Numerous signs also pictured Heyer. This one read, "We Have The Heyer Power" and "Stop normalizing the Alt-Right."
There Is Real Variety Among Signs At Freedom Plaza
Counterprotesters brought signs invoking popular pro-woman phrases like "WE ARE THE GRANDDAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHES YOU WEREN'T ABLE TO BURN" while others held signs designed to look similar to a Trump campaign sign. Those signs read: "AMERICA IS IMMIGRANTS" and "LOVE IS A SUPERPOWER."
Another Called Out Trump's Antagonistic Relationship With The Press
One protester used their sign to criticize President Donald Trump's antagonistic view of the American media. The sign read, "REMEMBER WHEN PRESIDENTS LIKE JOURNALISTS BETTER THAN NAZIS?"
Some Signs Had Absolutely No Subtlety
One small group unfurled a large sign reading, "No! Drive out Trump/Pence Fascist Regime" while those surrounding them held signs saying, "The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!" Another protester had a sign reading "Nazis are un-American," which is much cruder looking in comparison.
Some Were Even Less Subtle
One man's neon green sign read, "Trump Is An Unstable Penis." The sign has no other adornment.
One counterprotester held a detailed sign saying, "WHITE FLOUR" with a Gold Medal flour bag on F Street Northwest in Washington, D.C.
One Sign Gave A Simple Directive
A sign reading "RESIST HATE" can be seen over the heads of many counterprotesters on Sunday.
No Swastikas, No Nazis
Getty Images photographer Alex Wroblewski captured a simple brown cardboard sheet has a Nazi Party swastika with a red "no" symbol through it at Freedom Plaza.
The Jewish Solidarity Caucus of the Democratic Socialists of America posed with their large black banner, reading, "We Will Outlive Them." The banner had multiple red Stars of David.
One Blues Brothers Showed Up, Too
One man dressed up as one half of the '80s duo The Blues Brothers. He held a sign reading, "Illinois Nazis?! I hate Illinois Nazis! —'Joliet' Jake & Elwood, The Blues Brothers, 1980."
Which Side Are You On?
One counterprotester held a white sign reading, "White Silence is Violence" while sitting down at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.
Two counterprotesters showed up in leis, Hawaiian shirts, and a hula skirt to urge counterprotesters to take back the Tiki torch. Their signs read, "TAKE BACK TIKI" and "JEWS FOR LUAUS." At the Unite the Right rally last year in Charlottesville, hundreds of white nationalists carried Tiki torches through the University of Virginia campus to protest the removal of a statue of confederate icon Robert E. Lee.
Cats Were Present, Too!
One counterprotester's sign read, "ERA NOT KKK," referencing the Equal Rights Amendment, which has been passed by Congress and ratified by 37 states.