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politics

Day, Cuomo Denounce Hatred, Political Violence After Charlottesville

A vigil was held Sunday in the Hudson Valley.
A vigil was held Sunday in the Hudson Valley. Photo Credit: Contributed

Both Democratic and political leaders in the Hudson Valley and New York have expressed similar strong messages following the fatal White Nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, and a vigil held in the Hudson Valley was one of several hundred in the country.

“Like the vast majority of people in this nation, I watched with shock and revulsion as violence tore apart the historic city of Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement on Sunday. "To be clear: Hate has no place in Virginia or Rockland County or anywhere in our great nation.

"White supremacists, white nationalists, Nazis, neo-Nazis and all other hate groups are not welcome in our community."

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, "The bigotry, racism and violence seen in Charlottesville exhibit the worst of humanity. And all of us, regardless of race, faith or party affiliation must condemn it and call it for what it is: Evil and anti-American."

A rally in the Hudson Valley on Sunday was among hundreds either held or being planned across the country in a demonstration of solidarity with the victims of the Charlottesville protest.

The area vigil was held on Route 9 along the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow border starting at noon. More than 150 attended.

Those who attended held signs along Broadway. Among them: "The Whole World Is Watching" and "Alt Right Is Wrong."

The outrage over the Charlottesville protest has united even political rivals.

"I stand united with the many voices who call this out for what it is – racism, hate, ignorance and bigotry," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo's opponent in the 2014 gubernatorial race, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said, "White supremacism has no place America. We stand together against virulent hatred and political violence."

Day cited the fact his father and three uncles "fought the Nazis in World War II."

" Let’s not forget where blind hatred took the world during that dark era in history," Day said. "At the same time, let’s remember that generations of Americans have gone to battle to fight for our right to free speech.

"Our Constitution gives us the right to protest, but it does not give anyone the right to incite violence.

"This mindless violence took the life of three people in Virginia this weekend, including two police officers.

"Our hearts are with them as we pray for peace in Charlottesville and across our nation.”

The chaos in Charlottesville erupted Saturday when what is believed to be the largest group of white supremacists to gather in a decade descended on downtown Charlottesville to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Hundreds of others then arrived to protest the racism.

The event turned deadly after a car plowed into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.

A Virginia state trooper and a pilot died in the crash of a police helicopter that was monitoring the event.

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