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'It's not right': Toronto protesters denounce racism in Charlottesville

People protest against the white supremacist movement and racism outside the U.S. consulate in Toronto on Aug. 14, 2017.

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

About 100 people gathered across from the American consulate in Toronto to denounce the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., that killed one woman and injured 19.

"Individuals are being trumped by those who believe that they have entrenched inheritance to something because of their skin colour," demonstrator Yvette Blackburn said. "We need to be out here and we need to stand and say that it's not right."

The demonstration on Monday, organized by two university professors, condemned the violence at a rally on Saturday in Charlottesville by neo-Nazis and white supremacists who were trying to stop the planned removal of a Confederate monument. A car slammed into a group of people protesting against the white supremacist demonstration, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

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The car was allegedly driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. from Ohio, who is charged with second-degree murder and other counts. A vigil was held in Toronto on Sunday night remembering the victims of Saturday's violence.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the racism and violence on Twitter on Sunday and offered Canada's support.

"We know Canada isn't immune to racist violence & hate. We condemn it in all its forms & send support to the victims in Charlottesville," Mr. Trudeau said in a tweet.

Donna Gabaccia, an American professor at the University of Toronto, said she organized the protest because she was horrified by the events that had unfolded.

"I'm a historian and I think I am pretty good at recognizing the symbolism," she said. "The public forums that fascist and Nazis have used to mobilize over the past hundred years is similar to what I saw in Charlottesville. I was not surprised that violence and death was the outcome."

People held signs and chanted phrases condemning racism. Many of those in the crowd were American citizens or dual citizens who felt they needed to speak against acts of hate and violence in the country.

"My mother was born and raised in Charlottesville and as a white person growing up in the upper South, she saw the racism that was always there and she hated it, you could see the searing effects of it," said Molly Ladd-Taylor, a dual citizen. "I am appalled and disheartened with what is happening right now and the way things are continuing."

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