Casper Indivisible Group Denounces Racist Violence
The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the violence it spawned leaving three people dead, and President Donald Trump's responses drew the ire of about 80 Casper residents who held a vigil downtown Tuesday.
"I do think that Trump's campaign has encouraged, very clearly has encouraged, racist and hate groups, white supremacist groups to feel empowered and that they have more of license to maneuver and be outspoken," Anne MacKinnon said.
"I was saddened to see that he didn't condemn what happened Saturday right away," MacKinnon said.
However, the recent events may change the country's attitude toward its federal government and move away from what she called "an imperial presidency" toward a more true republican form of government," she said.
The rally at Pioneer Park to condemn violence in Charlottesville was the most recent effort of the Indivisible Casper movement, rally organizer Jane Ifland said in a news release on Monday.
The events were horrific, but not surprising, Ifland said. "We are beyond horrified by the failure of the President of the United States to respond to these events appropriately by affirming American values and condemning those who seek their destruction."
The Casper Indivisible movement arose from the women's march on Jan. 21 the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. Its proponents have held town hall meetings to discuss issues such as immigration, and held a "die-in" in front of the Wyoming Medical Center to protest the U.S. House version of the Trump's proposed American Health Care Act.
Those attending Tuesday's rally held signs with "resist racism," "we will not let hate win," "black lives matter," and "love trumps hate."
The holder of the latter sign, Vietnam veteran Sissy Goodwin, said he didn't serve in the Air Force to see a resurgence of white supremacist and neo-Nazi movements.
"As a veteran, I served so that we could have freedom of speech," Goodwin said.
"But when you advocate speech that's liable to incite riot, that goes against the history of our country, that's not inclusive, that's full of hate and bigotry -- that's not what I served for," he said.
Some passing vehicles honked their horns to show their support.
However, a pickup that had circled the park drove by a reporter after the event and an apparently disgruntled occupant told him to "go f--k yourself."