ESU Campus Ministry Holds Vigil In Wake Of Charlottesville, Va. Violence

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EAST STROUDSBURG UNIVERSITY  -- Nearly one week after a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia erupted into deadly violence, people gathered in Monroe County to remember the young woman who was killed.

A candlelight vigil was held at East Stroudsburg University this evening.

The gathering for the candlelight vigil may have been small but the purpose was mighty.

Folks sang hymns on the campus of East Stroudsburg University, calling for love, peace and unity in the wake of the deadly violence during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday.

The effort was organized by Joe Sudano who runs the Catholic Campus Ministry at ESU.

“It’s really a responsibility of all the children of God, whether you identify as a Christian or not, to respond to that in a way that Jesus Christ would, never, ever with violence, never, ever with more hatred but just with prayer and unity,” said Sudano.

That violence broke out as a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters who opposed a rally hosted by white nationals.

19 people were injured and Heather Heyer was killed; this vigil was to remember her.

Brandon Teel is a member of the university's Black Student Union.

“People feel more comfortable expressing their hate and that`s a problem, so I believe that we need to find a way to come together and erase hate with love,” said Teel.

Students here say this is their chance to take a stand against the violence and hatred they saw in Charlottesville and to pray that it won`t happen again.

“Hearing things that are going on, deciding that it`s time to step up and do something about it instead of staying in my room all day,” said graduate student Rafael Cordero. “You know when you`re on campus you have an opportunity to make your voice heard and I want to make my voice heard.”

Next week, Bloomsburg University is planning an event in response to the Charlottesville, Va. Violence.

Here is the information for that event in Columbia County:

Bloomsburg University Holding “Standing Up Against Bigotry and Hate” Event

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Coalition for Social Equity is hosting an interactive session called “Standing Up Against Bigotry and Hate” on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Greenly Center, 50 East Main Street, Bloomsburg. The event is free and open to the public.

In response to the events that took place in Charlottesville, Va., the session will give participants an opportunity to further their understanding of prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and oppression and how to stand up against all forms of social injustice.

For more information contact Malik Muhammad, coordinator of Sexual and Gender Diversity at BU, at or 570-389-3933.




    all these f***in vigils for one chick that was killed. Why nothing on the 330 or so who’ve been murdered in Chicago so far this year? They don’t matter? And most of them are black lives. Huh

  • CeeMe

    The counter-protesters, who gathered without a permit and were obviously seeking trouble, are to blame for Heather’s death, but you don’t hear that. It’s Trump’s fault. He didn’t say the right words. It’s Neo-Nazis and their hatred. All BS.
    The U.S. is a great country and no more hateful than anywhere else. Heather did what she wanted to, but unfortunately, it cost her big time. Again, blame her judgement and the counter-protesters gathered illegally. Me, I don’t listen to any of them and will vote on what I believe, at the polls.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      Protestors gathered illegally? Last I checked, freedom of assembly didn’t require a permit buddy!

      • El Ma

        Lloyd, I think it’s a reference to the busloads of ANTIFA and BLM protesters that disrupted the permitted assembly. I think that’s the reference, but I could be 100% incorrect on that! LOL

  • Lance

    The violence didn’t start when the car plowed in the victim. It started way before when the counter protests turned up with clubs etc. Not to mention the little a-holes who dress up like ninjas to forment trouble. If you doubt it look at the video with the car that plowed into the crowd you will see protestors using clubs on the car. So as the President says there are all to blame. So this vigil while thoughtful doesn’t address the intolerance that the alt left has as well. Only their opinion matters no one elses

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    I think I’m going to go to a vigil strictly as a sociological experiment one time. I just want to take notes and see what people seem to get out of it.

    It has to be a collection of hopeless people with no direction and no answers.

    • El Ma

      Lloyd, both my son and I have contemplated doing the same thing – just to see what these people are saying, suggesting, interpreting, etc., and I have opted out of that experiment. The reason being is that I do not want to be associated with any of these groups, even remotely. I don’t want my face in the news, my sons to have to bury me because some kook goes haywire, or have my family members bail me out of jail when I have to defend myself, physically.

      I spoke to a number of people to organize and “Straight Pride” event………it was shot down almost immediately. :-(

      • Samantha

        Let’s all meet, Harveys Lake, Aug. 21st, 3 P.M., at the outlet road. Bathing suits not required but recommended.

  • El Ma

    Alright. I am very sorry that Heather Heyer was murdered by a kook. I truly am. But, this proposed vigil to “remember” Heather actually raises my hackles. How many who will be attending this vigil will be able to say that they actually knew Heather, in any capacity?

    The vigil should be to recognize a senseless murder and to pray for a national healing and call for common sense, on all levels.

    That Bloomsburg University is going to host a “Stand Up Against Bigotry And Hate” event is an open invitation to ALL wingnuts on BOTH sides of the socio-political spectrum to invade this event, incite violence, and call it a “response to oppression,” regardless of which end of that spectrum they’re from.

    People must accept the fact that human beings are hard-wired to exclude and include, as they see fit. I don’t have to agree with the exclusions or inclusions, but I must recognize the fact that everyone is going to dance to the beat of their own drum, and I cannot force someone to be more sensitive or proactive if they are not interested in sensitivity or being proactive. That’s it. That’s all. There’s no negotiating this fact into being anything better. I cannot wish away the Human Condition. I can only lead by example, and this whole event is just another opportunity to invite more kooks in cars, wingnuts, ANTIFA, BLM, neo-Nazis, and Heaven’s Gate members………..(sigh)

    • Robert

      Demand equal vigils for all senseless killings!! That should challenge the rich Hungarian in Chicago alone.

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