Durham vigil calls for peace

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Hundreds of people packed CCB plaza in downtown Durham to support the victims in Charlottesville and oppose white nationalism. (WTVD)

Sunday evening, hundreds of people packed CCB plaza in downtown Durham to support the victims in Charlottesville, VA, and oppose white nationalism.

"The loving citizens of Charlottesville, they did their jobs," said rally organizer and community activist Gerald Givens before a crowd of hundreds. "Now, it's time that we do ours."

There were some clashing or contentious moments, but for the most part, the rally was peaceful.

Speakers encouraged folks to take action through fear, frustration, and anger.

"It's going to take diversity to beat the racist white supremacists who call themselves the Alt Right," said Givens

David Freedman is from the Pittsboro area and had several close calls this weekend with white supremacists while he was in Charlottesville.


Freedman said he was there when Heather Heyer was hit by a car.

"The clergy and I rushed over when that happened," he explained. "We held the people back. You wouldn't believe the people trying to get up close with their iPhones to take pictures. We formed a line to hold people back so the ambulance could get in."

He tells ABC11, at one point during the riots he thought was going to lose his life.

Freedman said, "We stood there with 500 or 600 Nazis a 100 feet behind us and hundred Nazis marching towards us."

This event is giving him strength after seeing such strife and tragedy.

"When you're right there and you've got strong support, it's easy to hang in there, hold onto each other and care for each other," said Freedman.

"It's a part of the process," said Givens. "Democracy is messy. Freedom is messy, but we'll get through it as we always have."
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