National News

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed orders flags on city property to half staff

Posted August 15

— Out of respect for the victims of the attack in Charlotteville, Virginia over the weekend, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has ordered all flags on city property to fly at half staff.

The mayor tweeted the order on Monday.

In the tweet, Reed says he is deeply saddened by the events that claimed three lives and injured several others and condemned the actions of those responsible.

"I am deeply saddened that hate-based violence took the lives of Heather Heyer and state troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, and seriously injured many others. My thoughts and prayers are with each of these individuals, the families and loved ones.

Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are fundamental rights of American citizens. These rights must be valued and protected. But I want to make my beliefs and those of the City of Atlanta clear: We will not condone vile displays of racism and we will not tolerate violence as a means to promote bigotry and hatred. The despicable act of violence perpetrated by James Alex Fields Jr. this weekend can only be seen as an act of domestic terrorism, and has no place in a country built upon our shared values.

We all have a responsibility to stand up and denounce these reprehensible acts. As a cradle of the Civil Rights movement, we stand shoulder to shoulder with those who exercised their right to speech in support of equality and in opposition to hatred. This weekend, hundreds of people marched peacefully in our city to demonstrate these values. I continue to urge those participating in protests to promote non-violent expression by self-policing and elevating the voices of community members. Atlanta's history demonstrates that we can come together and protest in a non-violent and peaceful fashion.

Over the past two days, Atlanta residents have started petitions and called for city streets bearing the name of the Confederacy or Confederate leaders to be renamed. I will carefully consider these petitions, because symbols matter, and as those espousing hate-filled ideologies grow bolder, we must grow stronger in defense of our values.

Atlanta stands with Charlottesville, and I stand with Mayor Michael Signer, and with all leaders who denounced violence and white supremacy in the face of equivocation from the President."

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