Participants in vigils for Pittsburgh shooting victims speak to the WSWS

“I don’t think the Democrats are doing anything to oppose Trump’s message”

By our reporters
30 October 2018

In Pittsburgh, a vigil has been ongoing since Sunday outside the Tree of Life Synagogue, where a gunman murdered 11 people Saturday morning. Streams of people came to lay flowers, light candles and leave remarks on the sidewalk and street.

Impromptu vigils have also been held outside the homes of many of the victims, with people stopping to leave flowers, write messages and show their support.

Bouquets for David and Cecil Rosentha

At one such vigil outside the home of Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal, two brothers killed in the attack, Val, a young woman who had left a comment opposing Trump’s hate speech, told the World Socialist Web Site: “Through solidarity we can regain any sense of humanity we had. Hate is not new. It is there because of leaders like Trump who encourages racism in a way that incites hatred and violence towards our brothers and sisters of all faiths, identities, backgrounds, here and all around the world.

“When you have a military or fascist-type leader anywhere in the world, it is a problem for the whole world. They are using the same type of hate speech against people whom they seek to victimize.

“I don’t think the Democrats are doing anything to oppose Trump’s message. I don’t have any confidence in what they are doing. They don’t want to bring up the topics of migrant workers and immigrants and that is what we want. Everyone has to be welcomed.”

Another person at the vigil who didn’t want to leave her name for fear of reprisals said, “I don’t understand how someone could go into a place of love and sanctuary and do so much harm and hate.”

Referring to Trump’s statements, she said: “I definitely think that this country is more divided and that this is fueling hate. I don’t know why this man did this and I don’t want to say why, but Trump is trying to make people hate immigrants and minorities.

“I wholeheartedly support immigrants’ right to come to the United States. People are being forced to flee their home not because they want to, but because of the violence and wars, much of which has been caused by the United States.”

New York City

Coby

Hundreds of students waited outside the Kimmel Center at New York University to attend a vigil held for victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

Coby, who studies film and television at NYU, said, “It is really a sad thing that someone could do this because of someone’s religion. To hear that one of the victims was a Holocaust survivor especially affected me.”

Anesa

Anesa, an NYU student majoring in cultural studies, said, “I am going to the vigil because it is everyone’s responsibility to stand up and condemn white supremacist violence. It is sad to hear about all the communities that suffer from this violence and expect it but feel powerless to stop it.

“Looking at how our country is being run, the elections in Brazil, and the violence around the world is alarming. There are not really places people can go to feel safe.”

Detroit

A participant in a Detroit vigil said, “It’s not just American society where this is happening. Brazil just elected a fascist. Germany is struggling with neo-Nazis in their government.

“We all have the same history. A hundred years ago, it was anti-Catholic because we didn’t have Latinos then. The capitalists will do it to anybody. White people were forced into the coal mines and their children were used as labor. It’s not about race.

“While we are fighting each other according to race, they stuff money in their pockets. Why should I be afraid of some caravan?”