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Rochester vigil for victims of violence in Charlottesville

The vigil was held at Washington Square Park. (WHAM Photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - A vigil was held in Rochester Saturday night in response to the violence that broke out at a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dozens gathered at Washington Square Park, near Geva Theatre, to honor those affected by the heinous acts. Many say they are keeping them in their thoughts and prayers.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued a statement on the protests.

"What happened over the past 24 hours in Charlottesville is nothing short of overt racism and white supremacy, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of such unnecessary violence. President Trump said there are ‘many sides’ to the violence that occurred, but there was only one. You are either on the right side of history, or the wrong side. There is no room in the middle. In Rochester, we stand up for the progressive values that Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass fought for - and we will continue to do so by combating the structural racism and inequities that still plague our community. I am proud that our Deputy Mayor, Dr. Cedric Alexander, represented those values as a trusted expert on CNN today, and we will continue to ensure Rochester is a welcoming place for all."

Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander was a guest throughout the day on CNN, discussing the violent events.

The former director of public safety in Georgia said President Trump missed a chance to call out the hate and aggressively rally the country.

"He is the President of the United States," said Alexander. "He had an opportunity to say to this country that I totally oppose these groups, I find them to be deplorable and they are not what I stand for, what I want this nation to stand for. This was not even a good middle of the road speech."

More of Alexander's comments can be seen below.


Congressman Tom Reed weighed in on the rally, calling it a tragedy.

"I'm outraged by the violence and senseless deaths that occurred today in Charlottesville and condemn those who would abuse our freedoms and divide us with bigotry. Hatred will never have a place in the true American spirit. Our condolences are with the families of all three of today's victims."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also released a statement.

"I and my fellow New Yorkers reject the hateful and ugly ?rhetoric and violence taking place in Charlottesville last night and into today. We condemn the language of white supremacy and ugly racist hate speech and stand appalled at the violence that has resulted in injury and death. There are not many sides to the violence of last night and today - these actions and this speech are a poison and serve to bring us all down to the lowest and most un-American of moments. I stand united with the many voices who call this out for what it is - hate, ignorance and bigotry and I join all who loudly speak out in truth and condemnation. "

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