Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg leads vigil participants in song on Wednesday night at Congregation Kol Ami in Woodinville to remember Heather Heyer as well as offering calls for peace. The congregation serves the Redmond community. Aaron Kunkler/Redmond Reporter

Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg leads vigil participants in song on Wednesday night at Congregation Kol Ami in Woodinville to remember Heather Heyer as well as offering calls for peace. The congregation serves the Redmond community. Aaron Kunkler/Redmond Reporter

Mourners gather to call for peace, honor Heather Heyer

Some 30 people gathered Wednesday night at the Congregation Kol Ami in Woodinville to hold a vigil for Heather Heyer, who was killed by a neo-Nazi driver last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The group was led through song and prayer by rabbis and pastors at the inter-faith ceremony.

Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg opened with a song and prayer.

“We came here today in solidarity and we stand here and sit here with communities all over the country,” she said.

She also read a piece by Alden Solovy, which was written in the wake of Saturday’s killing.

“We will not yield this nation to hate. Not to neo-Nazis. Not to thugs self-styled as militia,” part of the piece read.

Pastor Brooke McBride from Bear Creek United Methodist Church took the stage afterward and played a couple songs that the crowd sung along with.

He called for non-violence in opposing far-right extremists as well as calling for an end to poverty.

He referred to Nazis as opponents instead of enemies and called for greater understanding and outreach.

Kinsberg took the stage afterward and called for the United States to return to its ideals of providing a safe and welcoming place for anyone.

“Everyone’s welcome, the door’s open,” she said.

Another prayer was given, this time from a 1945 prayer book and members were asked to stand and add in what they were personally praying for regarding their country.

Responses from those gathered ranged from tolerance and love to compassion and courage.

Rabbi Zari Weiss gave another prayer, and challenged the country to figure out what it wanted to be.

“This is a time of moral reckoning for our country as well as for each one of us,” she said.

The vigil came after a large white supremacist rally in Charlottesville turned deadly when a 20-year-old neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of people, injuring dozens and killing Heyer. Driver James Alex Fields Jr. was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

The white supremacist rally attracted the attention of anti-racist and antifascist protesters that held counter-demonstrations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

These counter-demonstrators were attacked by white supremacists and neo-Nazis after the police refused to provide protection from the far-right extremists.

According to Buzzfeed, right-wing militia members of the Three Percenters came armed to the protest to provide protection for the alt-right.

An armed left-wing community defense group, Redneck Revolt, also was present, and provided protection for medics and counter-protesters against the white supremacists.

Following the weekend’s violence, President Donald Trump came under fire not outright condemning white supremacy and laying blame on “both sides,” a move which was widely seen as lending support to Nazis and white supremacists.

The rally, and others which happened across the country, are part of a resurgence of far-right activity and violence. Multiple rallies have been held in Seattle and Portland by people like Joey Gibson, who goes by the name Patriot Prayer.

These events have seen violence erupt as members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys, TradWorkers party members and Identity Evuropa members square off with antifascist and anti-racist activists.

Congregation Kol Ami and Bear Creek United Methodist Church co-hosted the vigil and serve the Redmond community.


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