Texas political leaders, Austin officials react to violence at Charlottesville rally


5:15 p.m. update: Central Texas political leaders and officials have joined the voices in condemning the violence at a white nationalist rally Saturday in downtown Charlottesville, Va.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who noted that his mother was from Charlottesville, tweeted that “we must stand against all who try to divide us with hatred and bigotry.”

Travis County GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak said the violent actions go against the values for which the Republican Party stands.

“Hatred, bigotry, racism and violence are antithetical to the values of the Republican Party,” he said in a statement. “The Charlottesville rally should be condemned. I am horrified for the loss of life and pray for the recovery of those injured. This is a very sad day for America.”

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a fellow Republican from Austin, also condemned the Virginia demonstration of hate on Twitter.

“We must condemn the hate fueling the violence in #Charlottesville. It does not define us as Americans. Those affected are in my prayers,” McCaul tweeted.

University of Texas President Greg Fenves also used Twitter to pledge UT’s support and solidarity with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

“UT stands with @UVA against racism and hate-filled violence in our communities. Our sympathies are with the victims of this tragedy,” he tweeted.

State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, retweeted a CNN News tweet about the rally held Friday night on the University of Virginia campus with a statement saying: “We are better than this. This is the product of the “politics of division” led by a president who daily pits Americans against one another.”

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, echoed the condemnation of hate. In the tweet sent around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, before President Donald Trump’s statement on the violence, Watson called for Trump to denounce the violence.

“Time to condemn the hate in #Charlottesville. This isn’t our values. @POTUS should join reps of both parties in denouncing this vileness,” Watson tweeted.

Earlier: Austin leaders have taken to social media in reaction to the violence that has erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where a vehicle plowed into a group of people marching through the city’s downtown.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has pledged his support to Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer through tweets about the violent rally.

Alder tweeted the hashtag #standwithcville Saturday afternoon in a retweet of a previous tweet of his from earlier Saturday morning saying: “We support the great leadership of #Charlottesville Mayor @MikeSigner and strong values of his community, this moment fighting hate.”

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley also tweeted, denouncing the hate and violence happening at the rally. “There is no room in society for the hatred and violence that is on display in Charlottesville VA!” Manley tweeted.

Many of the members on Austin’s City Council also voiced their support for Charlottesville’s leaders.

District 4 Council Member Greg Casar sent a message of solidarity to the anti-white supremacist marchers and Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, who fought to take down the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park.

“In Austin it’s time we rename Robert E Lee Rd & reshape budgets & policies to march toward racial justice #atxcouncil #Charlottesville,” Casar tweeted.

District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen echoed Casar’s sentiments in support of Bellamy. “Standing with #Charlottesville Vice Mayor @DrWesBellamy for equity, inclusion & justice. We reject hate & bigotry in our communities,” she tweeted.

District 2 Council Member Delia Garza and District 6 City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan echoed the words in Kitchen’s tweet, stating their solidarity with Bellamy and “equity and justice” via Twitter.

Later in the day, District 8 Council Member Ellen Troxclair tweeted, “What a horrible day for America. We are so much better than this. Praying for those in #Charlottesville and for the end of racism and hate.”



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