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Hundreds rally in Durham in solidarity with Charleston, against white supremacist terror attack

By staff |
June 22, 2015
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Rally in Durham, NC,  stands in solidarity with Charleston
Rally in Durham, NC, stands in solidarity with Charleston (Photo by Manzoor Cheema)

Durham, NC - Over 200 people gathered in east Durham on June 20 to rally and speak out against the white supremacist terror attack in Charleston that left nine African Americans dead earlier this week. The rally, organized by the Durham Solidarity Center, included speakers from Muslims for Social Justice, Black Workers for Justice, Workers World Party, as well as other activists and organizers in the community.

"I still feel numb over what happened," said Lamont Lilly, the emcee of the event. "Every week there is a hashtag of someone in our community who's been killed." Another speaker quoted Malcom X, saying, "We are not Americans, we are victims of America."

While the overriding emotions expressed were of shock and pain, many speakers urged those in attendance to organize, defend the community and keep fighting back against racist terror and police killings. Desmera Gatewood gave an powerful speech that urged everyone attending to work every day to challenge the system of racist oppression. Qasima Wideman, speaking for Muslims for Social Justice, noted, "We call on Muslim community to join us in challenging white supremacy in all its forms, whether murders of Black and brown people by police, school-to-prison-pipeline, prison-industrial-complex, environmental racism, gentrification or the war on poor."