Bay Area protesters gather to denounce racism, white nationalism after Charlottesville rally

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A family visiting the Bay Area from Charlottesville, Virginia attended a unity rally Sunday following a deadly crash at a rally in their hometown Saturday that sparked a national response.

"We knew it was coming. We did not know how bad it was going to be," Kristin Breen said.

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Breen and her family are visiting San Francisco from Charlottesville, a town thrust into the national spotlight after becoming the center of violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters.

Kristin, her husband, and two teenage boys joined hundreds of people at a solidarity protest outside San Francisco's City Hall.

She says racism has no place in her town, and it has been hard to watch from a distance.

"I was glad we were not there to experience it. But it was hard seeing the posts and the pictures and the fear from my friends on Facebook," Breen said.

"It's very distressing. We know those locations where that car ran over the people. I mean we've gone there many times. It's right downtown. It's very disturbing. You wonder what we're going to find when we get back," John Breen said.

Demonstrators used candles and flashlights to light up civic center plaza.

One woman carried a sign that said "hero" with a picture of Heather Heyer, the protester killed by a speeding driver.

Earlier, demonstrators marched through the city. Many waved flags and held signs denouncing racism.
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