A year later Heather Heyer was killed in a white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, his mother, Susan Bro, turned to activism instead of "living in hatred or anger".
"I think if we do not focus on solving the problems that have caused this, in the first place, the racial divide in our country, then we will be back in Charlottesville in the blink of an eye", Susan Bro said at the "Start Here" podcast of ABC News.
Bro said he spoke to "hundreds of thousands of people" on how to deal with these problems, adding that he was surprised by the amount of people who were determined to take a stand when they heard stories about his daughter.
"I've had conversations with many people I've never met, that I've just listened to something I've said, or read about Heather's life, or heard about what's going on, and they say they're standing and you're talking now. "
On 12 August 2017, Heyer, 32, was killed while a car had gathered in a group of counter-attacks that were demonstrating against a Unite the Right rally stimulated by the Charlottesville plan to remove a statue confederated by a local park.
Bro told "Start Here" that he often visits that area on 4th Street, now renamed "Honorary Heather Heyer Way", where visitors leave messages like "No Place for Hate" and "Gone, But Not Forgotten ".
"I often go over there alone at night, sometimes," he said. "Or just to stop and read the messages that people have left, and somehow absorb Heather's energy, the energy of the people who wrote on the street walls there. a box of chalk available to the people with whom to write ".
In view of the first anniversary of Heyer's death this weekend, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and asked the Virginians to "make alternative plans to deal with planned demonstrations of hatred".
There are small commemorative events scheduled in Charlottesville, but the police in Washington, D.C., are preparing for each relapse of a parade and joint demonstration of Unite the Right.
Bro said he believes any counter-proposals will be "a little more cautious and cautious" after seeing what happened last year in Charlottesville, but he insisted that ignoring the white nationalist groups would not it is the answer, saying that "they crave silence or violence". Instead, it is demanding a strong and non-violent resistance.
"If we ignore them, they think they have won because they had … the playing field all for themselves, if we give it violence, they believe they have won because they pushed the buttons and maybe they pulled out a few."
This story was published in the Friday edition of the ABC News "Start Here" podcast.
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