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Vigils Held Across Triangle To Remember Charlottesville Victims

Hundreds have gathered across the Triangle in candlelight vigils for victims of the deadly attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. One day after a car plowed into a crowd of people counter-protesting a white supremacist rally, North Carolinians gathered at various sites to remember the slain 32 year-old Heather Heyer and 19 others who were injured.

In Chapel Hill, more than 200 people stood in a circle around the Silent Sam  Confederate monument on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Some held candles. Others carried Black Lives Matter signs.

One demonstrator covered the monument in a black hood, and draped a sign at the base saying "Rest In Power Heather Heyer."

Gatherers entered the circle to speak about why they came to the vigil. Some had been involved in the counter-protests in Charlottesville and witnessed the attack, but wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from white nationalist groups.

Those who stood up to speak represented a range of identities -- including African-Americans, immigrants, LGBT people, and Jewish people. 

Director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights Ted Shaw was there with his 9 year-old daughter. He told the crowd that he talked to his family about the risk of white nationalists coming to the vigil, and in response, his daughter chose to wear a brightly colored t-shirt with the word "fearless" across her chest.

"I think people need to have an opportunity to be with people who are standing up, and who care about these issues," Shaw said.  "Some people need to vent, and other people need to just know that there are others who are very opposed to hatred and racism and anti-semitism."

A vigil is planned for tonight in Raleigh at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens. Protestors plan to gather in Durham at 6:00 p.m. at a Confederate statue in front of the old Durham County courthouse. They want the statue taken down, though that would be prohibited by a state law passed two years ago.

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