Religious leaders in Charlottesville are preparing for a rally by the Alt-Right on August 12th.
Advocates of white supremacy plan to meet in the former Lee Park, and some have called for violence. But Brittany Caine-Conley, who heads a group of ministers, rabbis, priests and imams, is calling for something else.
“We are calling on one thousand clergy and faith leaders to join us in body and in spirit in Charlottesville on the weekend of August 11 and 12," she says. "White supremacy is a structure of evil!”
From the steps of St. Paul’s Church, across from UVA’s rotunda, the Reverend Elaine Ellis Thomas added this invitation.
“We are happy to open our doors on the evening of Friday, August 11 for a mass prayer meeting, much in the spirit of the old civil rights marches the night before they would gather to sing and to pray and to build community and then to go out into the world the next day to proclaim love and justice for all people.”
Already, some big names are checking in according to the Reverend Seth Wispelway at the United Church of Christ. Among them, Dr. Cornel West, the Reverend Dr. Traci Blackmon, Lisa Sharon Harper, Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza and Brian McLaren.
Members have not yet decided whether they’ll try to surround the right wing gathering, but they plan to coordinate with Charlottesville police. In the mean time they’re hosting daily prayers at 6 a.m. in the newly named Emancipation Park.