In a room filled with anxious fervor, members of ANSWER, the anti-war and anti-racism organization formed days after 9/11, stapled and lined up signs titled “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”
The group of about a dozen is just one root of the Washington, D.C. tree of liberal groups preparing a massive anti-protest for Sunday’s Unite the Right 2 rally organized by white nationalists. The rally is the sequel to last year’s held at Charlottesville, Virginia, in which one woman was killed by a person linked to the modern-day Ku Klux Klan.
Members of @answercoalition prepping signs for Sunday counter-protest against Unite the Right Rally in D.C. @TGlobePost pic.twitter.com/6KCFbpdVa2
— Sonya Swink (@sonya_swink) August 8, 2018
Walter Smolarek, an organizer for ANSWER Coalition, told The Globe Post that the group plans to gather a massive crowd to overwhelm participants of Unite the Right.
“Our goal is to gather a huge crowd of progressive, anti-racist people, thousands and thousands of people, in order to prevent the Nazis from being able to spew their hate.”
He said the group has been sending out teams daily to grow awareness and grow the group that will be arriving Sunday to protest “…and overwhelm racism.”
Smolarek said it was the method of solidarity that prevented the tour of the nation’s colleges planned in March by Richard Spencer, a member of the alt-right movement. He cited Boston, where thousands marched in counter-protest to overwhelm the demonstration made by a few dozens Unite the Right, neo-Nazi and alt-right ralliers.
“People at our demonstration are going to be very open and very inviting,” said Smolarek, and that they would peacefully protest, but “We won’t compromise on our ability to exercise our free speech rights.”
In a statement released to the press, ANSWER Coalition said they believed their demonstration “will be strong, disciplined and safe.”
The rally is planned for 1:00 pm EST, in the northern part of Lafayette Park behind the White House.
Support mass action against the KKK and Nazis at their Unite the Right Rally in DC Aug. 12! #AllOutDC
— ANSWER Coalition (@answercoalition) August 7, 2018