Portland stands in solidarity with Charlottesville

Vigil started at 5 p.m.

Hundreds of people showed up to the vigil at Portland's City Hall, Aug. 13, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A vigil was held early Sunday night in Portland to support the victims of the Charlottesville protest.

At least 300 people gathered at City Hall for the vigil and speak-out, organized by Portland Stands Against Hate.

The peaceful rally lasted about 4 hours where a number of speakers took the time to talk about unity.

Spokesperson Jamie Partridge said people across the country, including Portland, held vigils both Saturday and Sunday to honor the counter protesters who stood up to the groups carrying KKK signs and Nazi flags in Virginia.

Partridge said people are trying to figure out how to defend themselves and their communities from what they call hate groups.

According to Partridge, the only way to do that is through unity.

“It’s like a gut punch, just like the murders on the MAX 2 months ago,” Partridge said. “It’s actually quite similar where you find a white nationalist who is emboldened by the rhetoric coming from the administration and then decides  to take it upon themselves to kill people and it’s pretty scary.”

The crowd held signs denouncing white supremacy along with those promoting love.

Attendees vowed to combat the message from members of the KKK and those carrying Nazi flags in Virginia.

“It’s a difficult discussion,” attendee Kris Ramsey said.”Nobody wants to admit that we are propping up systems of racism and marginalization of people.”

Portland Stands Against Hate will be working to build a unified response to the event in Charlottesville and to others that might occur here in the future.

Another rally was held earlier in Northeast Portland to show support for Charlottesville.

The rally, led by Don’t Shoot PDX, gathered to remember 19-year-old Larnell Bruce. He was run down and killed in Gresham a year ago.

The man and woman accused of killing him are connected to a white supremacist group.

According to investigators, race was a motivating factor in the murder of Bruce.