RALEIGH, NC – Over 2,000 people participated in the rally in downtown Raleigh at Moore Square Park on Saturday, December 3 to protest against the KKK and Trump, to forge ahead with the struggles for people’s power, against racism, wars and all forms of oppression. The Loyal White Knights of the KKK, a small group in Pelham, NC had previously announced that they would be hosting a “victory kavalcade” at an unannounced location somewhere in North Carolina on Dec. 3.
The same day there was also coordinated big rallies in Charlotte and Greensboro. People also rallied in Salisbury and Mebane. People were organized from countless other cities across the state that came into Raleigh and Charlotte rallies, truly expressing a statewide day of action.
There was once a time when the Klu Klux Klan could march in the thousands with impunity in state capitols across the U.S. South. But today, mass movements across the country have pushed them back, even despite the electoral win for bigoted Donald Trump. The millions of people in the streets all across the country to protest against Trump (and all that he stands for) has emboldened the social movement.
“We refuse to back down against the endless police murders of Black people. We stand in solidarity with the Black community in Charlotte as they protest against the non-indictment of cop Brentley Vinson who killed Keith Lamont Scott. We stand in solidarity with our immigrant friends who now fear threats of deportation by Trump. Our movement for not one more deportation will keep fighting ahead! “ stated Desmera Gatewood, emcee of the rally.
Gatewood continued, “We stand against hate crimes and racist violence against our friends who are labeled terrorists by the state and Trump by virtue of being Muslim. We are also workers fighting for $15 per hour and for collective bargaining rights for public workers! We oppose any new wars that Trump threatens to create. We move forward to advance our struggle for quality public schools and to defend all public services that Trump has threatened to shut down. We won’t let him shut anything down!”
The Triangle Unity May Day Coalition, representing a broad range of freedom fighters and organizations including Black, Latinx, Muslim, immigrant, women, the disabled and workers called the rally to claim that #ThisisourNC, that the state belongs to the people, not to the forces of Wall Street, the wealthy, white supremacists and the police state. The day after the rally there was a Triangle (Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh) area People’s Assembly that drew in hundreds of new people eager to get involved in the social movement.
The rally also came a few days after the District Attorney in Charlotte decided not to indict Brentley Vinson, the white cop that killed Keith Lamont Scott; and only a day after a jury in South Carolina had a hung verdict on whether to convict Michael Slager, a white former North Charleston police officer, with the murder of unarmed Walter Scott.
The KKK did announce, late in the evening Friday night, that they would be in Pelham. A group of about 150 folks, organized through the Triangle Industrial Workers of the World, did travel to Pelham to directly confront the KKK, however they had moved their event again.
Chasing them to Danville, Virginia, the IWW took the streets and marched carrying a banner “John Brown Lives, Smash White Supremacy”, referencing the white freedom fighter that organized an armed uprising against slavery. The KKK never publicly displayed themselves in Danville. They later appeared briefly in Roxboro, NC with a small caravan of about 20 cars that rode through the town displaying US flags, Confederate flags and KKK flags for 5 minutes, with support from the local police.