Stand of solidarity: Memphians gather in support of victims, protesters in Charlottesville

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- After protests turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, hundreds of people gathered in Memphis Saturday evening to send the message that such acts shouldn't be tolerated.

"People were wanting to come and wanting to be in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, those protesters that, those people who tragically lost their lives on today," said Andre Johnson.

Johnson was one of several speakers at the rally, which included conversation about condemning hate and uplifting both people and policies that support unity.

Johnson told WREG, "We just really wanted to bear witness because there must be a record of some groups of people when history is written that stood up that said hey this was not okay."

A large and diverse crowd gathered at Health Sciences Park in the Medical District, the home of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue activist Tami Sawyer and others have been working to have removed.

Sawyer said, "I'll never forget the imagery of last night in Charlottesville, all of the white supremacists with torches paying homage to people."

Sawyer led off the speeches at the rally.  She was also joined by Pastor Earle Fisher and other community leaders and activists.

Congressman Steve Cohen spoke to the crowd near the end of the event.

After all of the speeches, protesters took their rally to the streets.

Dozens of people marched down Union Avenue, then back to the park.

It's a moment Sawyer says she doesn't take for granted after what happened in Virginia.

"Very emotional experience to have made it back safely to the park and then to receive the love that we received from all the cars that were passing by that were stopped...getting over, just to let us do because they've seen the violent image of people's bodies flying in the air from the impact of the automobile."

There were several other solidarity rallies held across the country Saturday in cities including Boston, Oakland and Atlanta.