Despite foul weather, demonstrators take to the street in Daytona Beach to denounce racism

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Despite heavy rain in Daytona Beach Friday, about 100 people turned out for a demonstration against racism following last weekend’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The demonstrators set up at the four corners of the intersection of International Speedway and Beach Street.

Police were on hand to make sure the demonstration, and any counter-demonstrations, remained peaceful.

Comments from President Donald Trump after the violence in Charlottesville, which placed blame on neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and counter-protesters, prompted the demonstration, organizer Dana Humprey said.

“There’s more polarization, there’s more violence, there’s more hate crimes being committed,” she said.

The group’s message Friday was, “Hate has no home here,” which was met by supportive horn-honking by passing motorists.

Since Charlottesville, numerous municipalities have taken down Confederate monuments, including Daytona Beach.

Earlier in the day Friday, the city took down three Confederate plaques with the names of Confederate soldiers on them from Riverfront Park.

City leaders said they do not want anything on public property that could be viewed as divisive.

Demonstrator Janie Clark said she was shocked by what happened in Virginia.

“I never thought when I was growing up that I would see the day when Nazis were marching down the streets killing people,” she said, referring to the death of a woman who was run over during a counter-protest.

Demonstrator Kris Cunningham said getting rid of that kind of hate is the only thing that can heal the country.

“Taking us down with hate and ugly, and killing, is not the way that we can go forward in this country,” Cunningham said.

While demonstrators were prepared for counter-protesters to show up Friday, none did.