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Portlanders Gather In A Show Of Solidarity With Charlottesville

A few hundred people peacefully gathered in front of Portland City Hall Sunday evening for a vigil and rally to denounce racism, hatred and the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

People at the rally took turns at the microphone, speaking out against the white supremacist rally in the tiny Virginia college town.

Among them was E.D. Mondainé Jr., a vice president with the NAACP Portland branch and an apostle at Portland's Celebration Tabernacle Church, who said he didn't come to speak out against the president.

"I just came to say hello to my neighbors," Mondainé told the crowd. "And as long as I've got friends, like you, as long as I've got family, like you, as long as there are people of color, like you, who are standing with me, I ain't got nothing to worry about."

Others in the crowd gathered because they were appalled by the death of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old victim of a car attack in Charlottesville that injured 19 others.

"I just felt like I needed to do something to acknowledge what happened and this felt like the right place to do it," said Terri, an attendee at the rally who only wanted to go by her first name. She laid a bouquet of purple flowers on a picnic table in front of the crowd.

Portland rallied as other demonstrations, ranging from candlelight vigils to protest marches, took place across the country Sunday.

<p>A crowd of a few hundred people attends the Portland Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil outside Portland City Hall Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.&nbsp;</p>

Bryan M. Vance

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A crowd of a few hundred people attends the Portland Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil outside Portland City Hall Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. 

<p>Many in the crowd expressed feelings of heartbreak at violence in Charlottesville.</p>

Kaylee Domzalski

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Many in the crowd expressed feelings of heartbreak at violence in Charlottesville.

<p>E.D. Mondain&eacute; Jr., a vice president with the NAACP Portland branch and an apostle at Portland's Celebration Tabernacle Church, sings the lyrics "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around."</p>

Kaylee Domzalski

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E.D. Mondainé Jr., a vice president with the NAACP Portland branch and an apostle at Portland's Celebration Tabernacle Church, sings the lyrics "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around."

<p>People, many carrying signs bearing messages opposing white supremacists groups, attend the Portland Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil at Portland City Hall Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.</p>

Bryan M. Vance

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People, many carrying signs bearing messages opposing white supremacists groups, attend the Portland Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil at Portland City Hall Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.

<p>The group Portland Stands United Against Hate organized the vigil and rally the night before.</p>

Kaylee Domzalski

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The group Portland Stands United Against Hate organized the vigil and rally the night before.

<p>A Portland Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil attendee holds a sign in remembrance of Heather D. Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was killed in an attack on counter-protesters after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.</p>

Bryan M. Vance

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A Portland Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil attendee holds a sign in remembrance of Heather D. Heyer, a 32-year-old woman who was killed in an attack on counter-protesters after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

<p>Portland native Terri listens as the crowd sings "Fight Song."</p>

Kaylee Domzalski

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Portland native Terri listens as the crowd sings "Fight Song."

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kaylee Domzalski, Bryan M. Vance