August 14, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
by UNITED SIKHS
Over the weekend, right-wing and “pro-white” protesters, including members of neo-Nazi organizations and the Ku Klux Klan, arrived in in Charlottesville, Virginia causing Virginia State officials to declare a state of emergency. Racial violence erupted between these groups and members of the Charlottesville community and, according to the Press, a pro-white man acting against the demonstrators purposely rammed his car into a crowd killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring nineteen others, five of them critically.
Although the perpetrator in Charlottesville was quickly apprehended and law enforcement and Virginia elected officials denounced the acts of those spreading messages of hate and violence, events like these call for the Sikh community to be on high alert. Since the 9/11 attacks, Sikhs have been victims of random racial violence in the U.S. Anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner and pro-white political rhetoric place Gurdwaras and the Sikh community in the crossfire of hate mongers.
United Sikhs asks worshippers in Gurdwaras to be calm but vigilant and to seek Emergency Preparedness training. United Sikhs has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct these workshops in Gurdwaras and community centers in the past and are available to provide guidance. According to United Sikhs director, Sarmail Singh and United Sikhs Coordinator, Dr. Gurpreet Kaur, these workshops focus on needed basic training and teach members of the congregation to react in active shooter situations. The workshops also offer guidance on how to develop and maintain an emergency action plan.
To bring Emergency Preparedness training workshops to your Gurudwaras please reach out to us at DisasterPreparedness (at) unitedsikhs (dot) org.
United Sikhs will continue to meet with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights, and other law enforcement to ensure that they meet with local Gurdwara leaders to discuss growing local concerns about hate violence.
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Related Topics: Sikh Diaspora, Sikhs in United States, Sikhs in USA, United Sikhs