(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement by the Teamsters in response to the violence propagated by white nationalists and neo-Nazis during their planned rally in Charlottesville, Va. Saturday that led to the deaths of counter-protester Heather Heyer, as well as state Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.
“The Teamsters were saddened and disgusted by the behavior of hatemongers this weekend that resulted in the deaths of a woman standing up against them as well as two others who were involved in protecting the safety of all those present.
“In the face of such ignorance and malice, all of us must speak out and show unwavering resolve that makes it clear that all Americans are entitled to the same rights and protections, and that those who try to impede them will be dealt with swiftly and forcefully under the law.
“This union has long been a leader in fight for civil rights. It was more than 52 years ago that Viola Liuzzo, the wife of a Teamsters’ business agent in Michigan, was murdered by members of the KKK in Alabama while standing up for equal voting rights for African Americans. She was a martyr in the fight for justice. Tragically, Ms. Heyer joined her and became one herself on Saturday.
“It is time for this madness to stop. The Teamsters pledge to stand up against such despicable acts of hatred and intolerance. Only then will we truly become the great nation we all expect us to be.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.