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SLO vigil to honor the victims of violence in Charlottesville

A person holds a lit candle during a vigil for those recently wounded and killed during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the Caddo Parish Court House in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Sunday, August 13, 2017.
A person holds a lit candle during a vigil for those recently wounded and killed during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the Caddo Parish Court House in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Sunday, August 13, 2017. AP

A vigil will be held Wednesday evening in San Luis Obispo’s Mission Plaza to show solidarity with the victims of the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Three people died and 35 were injured over the weekend during a series of protests organized by white supremacists and counter-demonstrators that turned violent.

“At this peaceful gathering of nonviolent action, we will hear from leaders in our community, collect donations for Charlottesville, and provide information on taking action beyond this vigil,” read the description of the vigil on Facebook. “Please join us in uniting our community against hate, racism and bigotry.”

The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., and organizers ask anyone attending to bring LED candles; real candles will not be allowed at the event.

Speakers at the event include a member of Congressman Salud Carbajal’s office, a rabbi and Dawn Addis, the co-founder of the Women’s March in San Luis Obispo.

The vigil is being coordinated and hosted by the Democrats of San Luis Obispo and the Women’s March SLO.

So far, 343 people have signed up as planning to attend and 779 are interested in going.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon released a statement Monday saying she was “deeply saddened and angered by this weekend’s showing of rampant racism and violence in Charlottesville.” She said she’s proud to be the mayor of a city that’s welcoming to “all people regardless of who they are and where they come from.”

“As a mayor, I am dismayed that the leadership of this country has not taken a stronger stance to condemn racism and race-based violence,” Harmon said. “As an activist myself who has attended many such events, I am heartbroken by the death of Heather Heyer and the police officers and hold their family, friends and community in my heart.”

Heather Heyer, 32, died Saturday when a man drove his car into people protesting the white nationalist rally. The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and other charges.

As well, two Virginia state troopers died in a helicopter crash en route to the protests.

Correction: an earlier version of this article misstated the number of event hosts.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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