Hate crimes march sparks dialogue

By Anna Sale

asale@wvpubcast.org 

After weeks of build-up and controversy, a march against hate crimes and in support of the Logan County torture and assault victim Megan Williams convened in Charleston on Saturday.   

Leading up to the march, there was a lot of talk about organizer Malik Shabazz of Washington DC, who leads a group called Black Lawyers for Justice and has ties to the New Black Panther Party. He’s been criticized by civil rights groups like the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center for making anti-Semitic statements. 

Leaders of Charleston Black Ministerial Alliance and the NAACP declined to support the march. Logan County prosecutor Brian Abraham urged Williams not to participate because it could weaken his criminal case against the 6 white defendants.   All this came up at Saturday’s rally and march, but for many local participants, there was more to it than that.

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