A rally hosted by the Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect (SCCAR) was held Tuesday morning at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Redding to protest the white nationalists riot in Charlottesville, Va., last week.
Heather Heyer was in Charlottesville protesting hate. She lost her life when a car rammed into a crowd of people. Nineteen others were injured by that car. Also, two Virginia State Police pilots, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, were killed when their helicopter crashed as they helped monitor the situation in Charlottesville for the governor.
At the Redding event, ministers and others spoke out against the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and all groups that fail to support civil rights.
Speakers at the MLK Memorial Park in Redding included many, including Eddie McAllister, one of the event’s organizers.
McAllister i,s a community organizer who’s associated with Health and Human Services and many other north state groups including his position as president of the Vietnam Vets of America. He’s also a member of SCCAR (Shasta Country Citizens Advocating Respect).
Other speakers included Pastor Sung Kim of the Cornerstone Community Church, Rev. Dr. Ann Corrin of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Pastor Charles Clark of St. Marks MBC Baptist Church, and Trent Copeland.
Copeland taught English to many Asian people who settled in the north state. He said that many of his students were from refugee camps in Thailand, and others had fathers or uncles who were allies to the United States and helped United States troops survive during the Secret War in Laos. Copeland said that although his refugee students came to the U.S. in hope of a better life, instead, they were bullied. “They weren’t looking for hate here,” Copeland said. “They deserved our appreciation and recognition.”
Egon Harrasser, born in 1934 in Germany, also spoke.
He grew up during the Holocaust but believed there was a better life beyond his upbringing. Harrasser said he left Germany at 19 and begun his quest for a life of stronger meaning in Canada. He now lives in Shasta County and is a member of SCCAR.
Tom O’Mara, a civil rights advocate with the Redding Police Department also spoke.
The event concluded with Rod Lindsey representing Local Indians For Education.
The gathering was peaceful. No one showed up to protest the event. Police were there, too, including interim Redding Police Chief Peter Hansen.
Note: On Monday, August 28th, the National Organization of ‘Ministers March For Justice’ will gather in Washington, D.C., where more than 1,000 ministers are expected to gather to reaffirm their commitment to the social justice movement. Together they will stand in solidarity, mirroring the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These ministers will hold the Trump Administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions accountable for the increase in hate crimes in the United States.