This year marks the fifth anniversary of the white supremacist Unite the Right rally. While Charlottesville hosted Unity Days in 2019 as a memorial for the deadly rally, City Council has confirmed that the city will not hold an anniversary event this year.
“[With] no staff, no time, no money, no security, and with COVID running rampant, it did not seem like a wise idea to try to plan Unity Days,” said Mayor Lloyd Snook during last week’s City Council meeting.
Charlene Green, Charlottesville’s Office of Human Rights manager, and communications director Brian Wheeler had worked together to plan Unity Days in 2019, but both have since left their positions, explained Snook.
During last week’s meeting, some community members criticized the city for not doing anything to commemorate the infamous rally, during which dozens of people were injured and three were killed, including 32-year-old local resident Heather Heyer.
“It’s a little disappointing that Unity Days is something the city will not continue to support,” said activist Joy Johnson, board chair of the Public Housing Association of Residents. “But I’m not surprised.”