Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Monroe County courthouse Sunday night to stand in solidarity with Charlottesville, Va. and speak up against hate.
The vigil comes the day after white nationalists became violent in Charlottesville. Among the violence, a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring others.
At the Bloomington vigil, residents held signs with handwritten messages saying “love trumps hate” and “stop racism now.”
President of the Monroe County NAACP Jim Simms says the turnout shows most people in Bloomington won’t tolerate racism or bigotry.
“I believe I’m with a like-minded group when I say no hate, not in our town,” Simms says.
A dozen leaders from community activist groups and local government addressed the crowd and many asked people to turn their outrage into peaceful action.
“When I talk about fight back I don’t mean hand to hand, I man heart to heart,” says Wandalyn Savala from the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky. “I mean unblocking your cousins on Facebook and actually having a conversation.”
Savala urged people to talk to their peer groups about racism and call people out if they speak or demonstrate hate.
The vigil in Bloomington was one of several held across the country Sunday.