A 10-day “March to Confront White Supremacy,” is set to conclude on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Activists gathered together to make the 118-mile trek from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Washington, D.C. in protest of white supremacy and the violence that sparked from the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. It began with a rally at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park and will end in the nation’s capital, with nonviolent civil disobedience.
While participation in the march varies depending on the day, organizers said that around 80 people were participating in the march on Saturday.
“We’re marching to say enough is enough,” said Puja Datta, a 29-year-old Working Families Party organizer who traveled from Columbus, Ohio, to participate in the march. “People of color demand true liberation and equality and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have it. And there’s absolutely no reason why neo-Nazis should be rising again. America already fought them once and beat them back.”
The march has already experienced its share of setbacks, including an early end to one leg of the march when the marchers were warned that an armed person was waiting for them in Madison, Virginia.
What’s more, Virginia State Police withdrew their support on the same day that actor and activist Mark Ruffalo joined the march, citing concerns of weather and traffic and telling protesters that they had to continue by car.
“Today the Virginia State Police revoked our permit because of non-existent ‘rain and traffic,’ and threatened to arrest us if we marched,” marcher Ben Doernberg said in a Friday statement. “[Virginia] Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s double standard is as clear as the skies and roads, and his disregard for the rights of non-racists is appalling and shameful.”
Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in an email to the Huffington Post that they were acting in faith and had resumed the escort on Sunday, though they reserved the right to demand changes from the marchers in the future.
“As this march advances into Northern Virginia, traffic congestion and safe passage for the marchers will become even more of an issue,” she said. “State police and VDOT are in constant communication with the march organizers to discuss what is in their best interest in regards to creating a safe environment that will enable them to achieve their intended goals each day.”