‘Clear Evil': Local Lawmakers React to Violence in Charlottesville

New England's congressional delegation was quick to speak out after violence erupted on Saturday at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

New Hampshire congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter released a strongly-worded statement, calling the movement "dangerous" and "despicable."

"The cowards who are waving Nazi flags in Virginia today are free thanks to my parents' generation of Nazi fighters. During World War II my dad's ship was hit by Nazis. 200 American sailors died, but he fought on. My uncle flew day bombing missions over Germany. My mom worked in a shipyard. Today I can speak out against fascism because they were heroes who saved us from the Nazis."

"There are not many sides to this story," Shea-Porter added. "This is clear evil."

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, himself a veteran, sounded a similar note, saying "I fought to defend Americans' right to protest - not for white supremacists to spew intolerance. Hatred has no place in USA."

Boston Mayor Marty Walshalso reacted strongly to Saturday's events, saying, "There's no place for the hate that they're spewing."

He expressed remorse over the violence that erupted in Virginia, adding that "A loss of life over something like a protest is sad."

The mayor sounded apprehensive about the possibility that the protesters might make an appearance in Boston next week.

"It's my understanding that they’re scheduled to come to Boston," he said. "I know we probably can't stop it because of free speech, but they’re spewing hate. We don’t need that right now in this country.”

Many other local lawmakers took to social media to express their disapproval for white nationalism and the situation in Charlottesville.

"The white nationalist demonstration in #Charlottesville is a reprehensible display of racism and hatred that has no place in our society," Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said. "While this incident is alarming, it is not surprising. Hate crimes and shows of hostility toward minorities have recently been surging. Now more than ever we must stand together against those who threaten our brothers and sisters."

"Racism, bigotry & hate are wrong - in Charlottesville or anywhere else in this country," Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. "We should be a better people than that."

Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree tweeted, "hate has no place in Maine or anywhere else. Saddened & Disturbed to see what's happening at UVA."

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan tweeted, "Racism and hate on display in Charlottesville goes against everything America stands for."

"Very concerned about the violence in Charlottesville," added New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. "There is no room for hatred, racism and violence in America."

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy released a statement saying, "As an American, I am disgusted by the violence incited and perpetrated in Charlottesville."

Malloy went on to disagree with President Trump's statements that the violence is being perpetrated by "many sides." 

"It is coming from one side, and the President has never unequivocally denounced that side...Instead, he has incited violence in his speeches, sought to divide people...and instigate fear."

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts addressed Trump directly on Twitter, saying, "Today is not a day for silence of weak condemnation, Mr. President. Must call white supremacist what they are: terrorists."

"Silence or weak condemnation will be read as complicity today," added Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy. "Be loud. Be unconditional. Side with love, diversity, inclusion and peace."

Massachusetts Congressman Bill Keating said "Hatred and violence have no place in our society, but the white supremacy marches yesterday and today go beyond that."

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