scott Christian BLM vigil

Scott Christian addresses the crowd assembled in Courthouse Square for the first Black Lives Matter "vigil for action” on June 20 as Ellsworth Weaver (left), NAACP chapter president, looks on. 

Labor Day weekend was supposed to be the final Courthouse Square vigil to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but organizers have decided to continue the Warrenton demonstrations into the fall, according to Scott Christian, chair of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy's Northern Piedmont chapter.

Three organizations support the nonpartisan vigil -- the VICPP, the Fauquier County branch of the NAACP and the the local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Christian said, “We have had 12 consecutive Saturday morning gatherings around the Courthouse Square with an average attendance over 80 -- even in the rain! Last week we had 122 participants... We have a town policeman present every week, though there has been no disturbance.”

He added, “We have decided to continue gathering this fall at the square every Saturday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. … We are building a community of people committed to ending systemic racism in this country. I hope we're all in it for the long haul.”

Christian said that since the vigils started earlier in the summer, the groups have distributed more than 250 Black Lives Matter yard signs, 250 Black Lives Matter car magnets, 100 Black Lives Matter bumper stickers, 50 Hate Has No Home Here yard signs, 100 copies of the NAACP's legislative agenda, and more than 100 pocket cards on how to get in touch with state legislators as they debate criminal justice reform and COVID-19 relief legislation during the current special session.

The League of Women Voters has registered new voters and helped existing voters update their information. The handouts they distribute educate voters on how to vote by mail and in person before the election, said Christian.

Vigil supporter Max Hall has written about the events in more detail in a blog.

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