Charlottesville community holds meeting to discuss Saturday's violence

Charlottesville community holds meeting to discuss Saturday's violence

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - It was a packed house at a community meeting in Charlottesville on Monday. The meeting was aimed at coming up with ways to prevent Saturday's violence from repeating.

One community leader said the reason white supremacists keep coming to Charlottesville is because the people are allowing it to happen.

There has been a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville each of the last four months, and the people have had enough.

"This is what's happened. This is what's gonna happen. Now, what can we do in between while it continues to build on us," said one leader

"The white community of Charlottesville is like f*$% it, we're ready.  We're ready to do what it takes," said another leader.

Broken into small groups, the standing room only crowd, worked together on ways to make their community safer.  With admitted respect for the Second Amendment, one group discussed limiting weapons like these from something billed as a peaceful protest.

"Limits to open carry laws," said an attendee.

"I mean, they can start working on this thing, and yeah, they can start working and trying. I mean, the question is can they limit what people are bringing in terms of weapons?" asked another.

But it wasn't a gun that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer, nor Troopers Cullen and Bates.  So if guns are to stay, another group wants better support from the city to defend their home from unwelcomed visitors.

"People don't understand that we're standing up for our town.  This is where my babies were born. This is where my kids go to school.  Why don't you understand that we don't want it here," said an attendee.

Don't want the hate, nor the Robert E Lee statue.  The city voted to remove it and folks say it's not up to visitors what Charlottesvillians decide to do in their town.

"Is that your problem? That it was the entire city, white black, indifferent, purple, green, anybody, everybody because I couldn't care less about the statue, they could've [taken] it with 'em.  It wouldn't have bothered me," said one person.

There are dozens of groups like this, and all of those ideas will go to city council.

Monday's event was not hosted by the city, but the various groups that organized it say there will be another meeting in the coming weeks. An announcement has not yet been made.

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