Several hundred people marched in a candlelight procession in Mountain View on Sunday night in solidarity against white supremacist and hate groups.
The vigil, which was organized by the 3,000-member Together We Will Palo Alto Mountain View, attracted residents from the Midpeninsula, including Redwood City, many of them families. The group began a several block walk from El Camino Real and Castro Street and converged on the Civic Center Plaza where they sang together and individuals spoke about how they felt. They promised to be back again another day in larger numbers.
Marchers said they were moved to come out after the violence stemming from a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. There were numerous clashes and one woman was killed and more than a dozen others injured after a man plowed his car into counter-demonstrators following a white supremacist rally.
President Trump issued an initial statement in which he decried the violence "on many sides," and did not name or blame the large collection of white supremacist groups that converged on Charlottesville, including the KKK.
"I'm appalled with the response from our president and our congress. We stand with everybody here. We really will not tolerate this kind of hatred and vulgarity," said Margaret Herzen, a Redwood City resident.
Mountain View resident Shawn Shahin said the vigil is the first time she has come out to demonstrate.
"I just couldn't stand by and do nothing. I truly believe we need to tolerate and accept all people," she said, noting that she was deeply moved by the Charlottesville violence.
"This is the straw that broke the camel's back," she said.
Christopher Kashap, also of Mountain View, attended with his daughter, Isabella, 11.
"I'm here because I'm frightened and outraged. I'm the son of an immigrant. That's what makes this country great -- immigrants," he said.