Democrats Abroad rallies thousands around
the world in wake of white racist terror in the USA
by Democrats Abroad
Thousands of Americans have joined a worldwide “virtual vigil,” showing solidarity with peaceful demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, and outrage at the President’s unwillingness to offer immediate, unequivocal condemnation of the biggest rally of the extreme right the US as seen in decades.
The activity was led by Democrats Abroad, the largest organization of Americans overseas. Members posted photos and messages against hate, supporting those wounded or killed by domestic terrorists and those made to feel unsafe by the horrific events that unfolded.
“Americans around the world are outraged by the Charlottesville rally and infuriated that the President refused to condemn white supremacy immediately and unequivocally,” said Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad. “We, like Americans at home, needed to make our voices heard.”
Alex Montgomery, Democrats Abroad International Vice-Chair, noted that “the challenge for Americans abroad is dispersion — we live all over the globe, from major cities to rural towns — and in the height of summer it can be difficult to organize events on the ground. An online vigil unites all of us in a common virtual space.”
In Panama Democrats conducted lively online debates, on the two Democrats Abroad Panama Facebook sites, people’s personal pages and in The Panama News. This attracted a few racist trolls, who tended to be used as foils and as examples in a debate that Democrats should have about propaganda techniques, about the use of bots to make messages seem more popular than they are, about mob violence and about mob hysteria. Senator Kamala Harris pointed out the ease with which one can determine that those bearing swastikas and torches are the bad guys. The vile sexism of the nazi justification for killing protester Heather Heyer was duly noted. But while the nature of what Democrats oppose was held up for all to see, the less spectacular job of developing alternatives of principle and behavior is always a work in progress. For example, on the global level Democrats Abroad is debating an initiative to put voting rights front and center in US political discourse. Democrats are united against vote suppression, which is usually racially motivated, but within the party at its various levels there are many ideas about how best to resist it.
Americans in over 45 countries were represented — including Germany, Israel, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Kenya, China and Indonesia. Most held signs like “This American in Seoul stands against hate,” with the organization’s #DAResists hashtag. Many added further commentary.
One read “My grandfather didn’t die fighting Nazis in WWII so that Nazis could have a foothold in the United States in 2017.” Another simply stated, “If anyone still doubts who Trump’s base is, #Charlottesville is your answer.”
The urgent action coincided with Resistance Summer, a sustained movement which has already mobilized thousands through Democrats Abroad to activate volunteers and contact members of congress in defense of health care and opposing legislation that eliminates protections for the environment and for women and minorities.
Panama Democrats were present and counted!
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