Citing the recent protests and violence in Charlottesville — as well as the president’s seeming sympathy with the white supremacists who perpetrated it — Women’s March organizers have redoubled calls to meet for a Women’s Convention in October. The goal of the Women’s Convention, organizers say, is to harness the estimated 2.6 million people who marched on Washington and in cities across the country into a political force that can impact the 2018 midterm elections — and take more power out of the hands of Donald Trump and white supremacist sympathizers.
“People have always asked us how we are going to change from a march into a movement,” said Women’s March co-president Bob Bland. “Bringing us all back together, I think, will truly be a historic turning point for the women’s movement and all of the most marginalized groups in this country who, as you saw from Charlottesville, are under attack.”
Susan Bro, the mother of a 32-year-old paralegal, Heather Heyer, who was killed by an alleged nazi sympathizer after he drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, pledged to continue her daughter’s fight against hatred, adding that she hoped her daughter’s death would prove a “rallying cry for justice and equality.” Describing Heyer as one of “us,” Bland said that the Women’s March needed “to answer her mother’s call through continuing to fight, to not allow this violence or weak condemnation to send a signal to white supremacists.”
Just 24 hours after Heyer’s death, leaders of the Women’s March had helped to organize 700 vigils across the country.
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