This statement, given at a Charlottesville press conference earlier today, is specifically about the Solidarity Cville demand to drop the charges against Veronica Fitzhugh.
Veronica tells us to fiercely love. Veronica holds us while we grieve. Veronica is a black disabled queer femme who is one of the many women of color that have taught Charlottesville how to do the work of community defense.
Veronica has been doing the work of community defense for years.
Veronica has been an advocate for eliminating stigma around mental illness and a warrior for disabled people’s right to make autonomous decisions about their health. Veronica has been supporting the family of Sage Smith. Veronica has been outside the regional jail on Mother’s Day sending love to Mamas inside.
Veronica, along with her black and brown femme comrades, has taught us how to fight Nazis.
And time after time after time, we, Charlottesville, have perpetrated and condoned violence against Veronica rather than admit the very real immediate peril of Nazi violence itself, and white supremacist violence of many, many forms.
Veronica has had to live through repeated threats of white supremacist violence, of people who want her dead threatening her personally and following her home.
Veronica has had to live through the insidious threat of white liberal violence-through-silence and white liberal complacency with systems of abuse. People who were supposed to be her friends turned against her, telling her she was too direct, to blunt, too willing to name the truth.
And this. These charges. These charges against Veronica are the violence of the state - violence that, as we saw on August 12, the state hesitates to even use against white supremacists themselves as they actively harm people in our community.
Veronica has held her own in knowing, love, and power, in the face of all of these layers of violence and abuse. And we know now -- and we can never un-know the lessons she has taught us, and we can never un-see and un-feel the terrorism brought to our city on August 12 by the very people that Veronica had been confronting herself, warning us about, trying to get us to resist alongside her. She and others knew where this was headed. They knew how important this was. She did this for us and now that we are here, now that we are on the other side of August 12, we will never be the same and we can never un-know what we know.
Now that we are here, we will not erase her labor. We will not erase the labor of black and brown femmes. We will not forget that she knew before any of us knew. We can never make it right, we can never undo the harm - but we can stop it here. We can stop harming her. We can drop the charges.
So join us in solidarity with Veronica. Demand that all charges against her be dropped. Commonwealth attorney Dave Chapman - drop all charges against Veronica. Turn us away from fascism and towards healing. Now.
***Call the office of Commonwealth Attorney Dave Chapman at 434-970-3176***