Charlottesville Solidarity Rally Held in Turlock

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TURLOCK -- Dozens of people stood in solidarity with Charlottesville Monday night -- 2,300 miles across the country at Central Park in Turlock.

"We need to take a stand locally," said Tony Rojas.

Those who gathered were exercising their freedom of speech to say they won't stand by silently after witnessing how differing views turned into violence over the weekend in Virginia.

"It doesn't have to be filled with hate speech," Rojas said.

"This really resonates with me as a positive alternative to what I've been seeing," said Turlock resident Eunice Johnson.

Many believe the racist ideologies underlying the Unite the Right rally are not being recycled from history so much as they have been simmering all along in this nation.

In fact, the sentiments that inspired it were promoted from right Stanislaus County.

Twenty miles away from Turlock in Oakdale sits the home base of Identity Evropa. The organization calls itself "Identarian," and is dedicated to promoting the interests of people of European heritage. Critics, however, call it a fraternity of white supremacy. It's headed by Nathan Damigo, whose name you might recognize from a violent encounter in Berkeley in which he punched a female counter-protester in the face back in April.

Flyers on his group's Facebook page advertised the Unite the Right rally. The group tells FOX40 none of its members who were in Charlottesville acted violently.

However, Damigo was detained and released by Charlottesville police. He has since vowed to sue them for a perceived civil rights violation and has raised $8,000 in the process.

It may be a surprise to some, but it's not to retired teacher Greg Burns.

"We have a local unit of KKK based in Keyes, California. And we've had them burning crosses here for years," Burns said.

Burns is one of many people who took a stand for citizens who don't want history to keep repeating itself.

"People need to come to terms with what is really true about our country," Johnson said.

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