TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the in Laguna Beach on Saturday, a week after a man linked to white supremacist groups ran over a group of counter-protesters during a gathering of white nationalists in Charlottesville, killing one woman and injuring some 20 others.
Condemning the violence, the protesters also blasted President Donald Trump for encouraging racist groups by refusing to count white supremacists and denounce their acts.
The protest was also a preemptive move against a far-right rally scheduled on Sunday. Right-wing groups had called on their followers to gather in the area and speak out against the “cheap labor” as well as the crimes of illegal immigrants.
Dubbed “From Charlottesville to Laguna Beach: We Stand Together,” the event was attended by over 300 people and lasted more than two hours.
Trump’s divisive anti-immigration policies have reinvigorated white nationalist groups across the US.
“I have been to so many rallies since this administration began,” said one protester, holding a sign with the words, “Choose Love, Not Hate.”
“I’m recycling this sign because it’s so useful in so many different kinds of rallies,” she added.
In late July, white supremacists staged a major rally in LA, urging the Republican president to push ahead with his campaign promise of building a wall on the border with Mexico to prevent further illegal border crossings into the US.
Trump has stirred a firestorm by refusing to blame the violence on white supremacists. He thinks both sides are at fault.
Despite heavy backlash, his divisive policies continued on Saturday, when he reacted to a similar protest in Boston, Massachusetts, ahead of a planned “Free Speech” right-wing rally.
Trump initially described the thousands of peaceful counter-protesters as "anti-police agitators," but then applauded them for “speaking out against bigotry and hate.”
Trump’s flip-flopping has drawn fire from many members of his party. The backlash has led to a wave of resignations and firings in the administration.