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16 August 2017
Statement from UNA-NCA President Stephen F. Moseley on the Violence in Charlottesville

From the President of UNA-NCA

Our UNA-NCA Chapter joins with fellow citizens and neighbors to condemn the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 and 13th, resulting from the assembly of white supremacist demonstrators and their organizers. UNA-NCA’s mission is to espouse the rights of all peoples of the world, and in our communities here in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, to gather and peacefully express their opinions in order to foster better understanding and cooperation. Our American Constitutional rights of assembly and free speech, as well as the rights of others to assemble and express opposing opinions, are still subject to reasonable boundaries which must respect the peaceful rights of all to express themselves without violence.

All of us must strongly condemn any and all expressions of racism, anti-Semitism or intolerance. There are not two moral sides in the dispute between neo-Nazi ideology and those who oppose it. Groups who proffer neo-Nazi views encourage the hatred of, and incite violence against, other races and religions. The goal of such groups, as has been demonstrated throughout history, as well as the recent events in Charlottesville, is to suppress any legitimate opposition through violence and intimidation. Any ideology that seeks to suppress opposing views through intimidation or violence cannot be countenanced by any interpretation of our constitutional rights nor by any person of moral character.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, modeled in many ways upon our own American Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, also makes clear that we can never condone views that incite violence against or hatred of others. Our association will always oppose those who advocate for racial supremacy, discrimination, or intolerance. We therefore applaud and welcome the Virginia Governor’s call for an investigation of the horrendous actions and violence experienced in Charlottesville. Our Federal Justice system must underline and make clear that Constitutional protections of free speech and our tradition of public discourse cannot be used as a shield for incendiary views that encourage acts of violence.

We have witnessed too often violations of human rights in other countries, including member states of the United Nations. Often these violations are enshrined in imperfect laws and led by both private and public oppressors with authority. We must stand up to stop any such violations in this country whether it be a demonstration of hatred at the local level or a coordinated assault on voting rights at the national level. We must also join with other nations to support the freedoms and rights of people everywhere. Through the UNA-NCA's Human Rights Committee's work and our other education and advocacy programs, we are dedicated to fostering human justice and peaceful resolution of differences. UNA-NCA will continue to espouse our principles for inclusion and tolerance of all people regardless of background, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, race and religion or economic status, including all immigrants, people of color, refugees, and women and children whose rights are protected by our laws and system of justice. Where intolerance, lack of common decency and failure to recognize the humanity and dignity of all people results in violations of justice by private or governmental groups, we must work together to call for tolerance and peaceful dialogue, and respect for all peoples rights in our communities.

UNA-NCA is the Chapter of the UNA-USA which represents the communities and people from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, with about 1,200 members with great diversity including youth, young professionals and adults who are citizens and working and volunteering together for these beliefs and to help support the effectiveness of the United Nations, and support of it by the people and government of the U.S. Never has this been so important for all of us to apply these principles in our own communities. Join us in standing up and speaking out for tolerance and inclusion of all.

Stephen F. Moseley
President, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area