Boise residents protest racism and stand in solidarity with Charleston victims

Boise residents gathered around the Anne Frank Memorial Sunday evening to stand in solidarity with the community of Charleston, South Carolina, and to challenge racism.

The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and other organizations worked together to pull together the Racial Justice Solidarity Rally to protest racism and also commemorate the victims of the mass shooting that devastated Charleston.

Dozens showed up to the memorial and held signs that read "Black Lives Matter" and "Stand Against Racism." They spoke the names of the nine victims in the shooting, and then listened to speakers call the community to action.

"Social change begins with a conversation," said Fatima Tall, a 17-year-old Caldwell resident. "Begin the conversation now on racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination and oppression (that) deny the humanity of so many people."

Wendy Olson, United States Attorney for the District of Idaho, spoke at the rally to condemn the violent acts in Charleston and call for social change.

"I think it's important for all communities across the nation to unite and stand in solidarity with the Emanuel AME Church in (Charleston), both to remember and to honor the lives that were lost there, and also to send a clear message that acts of violence based on hate will not be tolerated in our communities," she said.

Idahoans need to take part in the national discussion, she said.

"It's a conversation that needs to happen in every city, in every community because we really are all part of the same family in the united states," Olson said. "We can't allow people who would act on racist ideologies to take over our communities. We need to send a strong message that we are going to stand against them."

Tall also said there's work to be done at a community and societal level.

"We must all realize that an act of hate does not only affect the victim but the community, and the whole country," Tall said.