Crowd rallies in Waterbury to stand against hate - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Crowd rallies in Waterbury to stand against hate

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People attended a rally in New Haven on Sunday following the death of a anti-racism protester in Virginia. (WFSB) People attended a rally in New Haven on Sunday following the death of a anti-racism protester in Virginia. (WFSB)
Heather Heyer died when a man drove his car into a crowd of protesters over the weekend. (CBS photo) Heather Heyer died when a man drove his car into a crowd of protesters over the weekend. (CBS photo)
Alex Fields Jr. is scheduled to face a judge on Monday. (CBS) Alex Fields Jr. is scheduled to face a judge on Monday. (CBS)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A rally was held in Waterbury on Monday night in the wake of the killing of a 32-year-old protester in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.

Alex Fields Jr., 20, is the man accused of ramming his car into a crowd of anti-racist protestors, killing Heather Heyer and hurting 19 others.

The incident happened at a "United the Right Rally" of white nationalists and sparked widespread marches for peace across the country, including in Connecticut. Organizers of the rally planned at the Waterbury Public Library called what happened over the weekend "unacceptable."

The event was put on by the Connecticut Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which condemned the incident as an act of domestic terrorism and said action must be taken.

"It means that we're not going to stand for any hate against any one of us," Nariman Omar, who is the community organizer at CAIR- CT, said. That means as my brother and sisters in the community I will be there for you the same way that I expect you to be there for me." 

"We need to mobilize, organize, stand united, don't divide. Don't divide, don't divide we have to stand united," said Fahd Syed, of CAIR.

"All that hatred and stuff needs to stop. Last minute notice but we're trying to send a message all over the country. It's uncalled for," said James Monroe, president of the Waterbury NAACP.

Another rally took place on Sunday in New Haven, along with vigils in Bridgeport and West Hartford.

"To have this many people show up on almost no notice and to demonstrate their love for their fellow human being as opposed to their hate for their fellow human being I think is quite exceptional," said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Some people at those events told Eyewitness News that it's only a matter of time before something like that happens in Connecticut.

"I think that it will happen in Connecticut, and that's one of the main reasons why I'm here today," said Chris Eisenbeiser, a vigil attendee.

The rallies and vigils also drew the attention of Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

"The failure to denounce these hate groups, specifically, condones them and, in effect, encourages them," Blumenthal said.

President Donald Trump condemned the violence, but blamed "many sides."

Fields faces several charges, including second-degree murder.

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