"The issue is that racism exists," said Chris Brickhouse, the man behind the protest. "I see it every single day. I saw today. I think everyone sees it."
Demonstrators will gather at the corner of Main and Bridge Streets on Friday, Aug. 18, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
UPDATE FROM ORGANIZERS: "Due to the influx of people interested, we have moved to a larger venue, the Main St. Side of Reeves Park in Phoenixville. After speaking with the Police this would definitely be the best option. We want everyone to be safe and have plenty of room without having to impede cars and pedestrians, and hopefully all those pedestrians will join us anyway. I will be handing out fliers for the event on Bridge prior to it. SPREAD AND SHARE THIS PLEASE! THANKS IN ADVANCE! Also, this will be RAIN OR SHINE so please come dressed accordingly. Rain doesn't stop racism so it won't stop either. We hope to have members of the Pottstown NAACP say a few words about the current situation and stand in unity against racism, sexism, and homophobia in our community. If we cannot all live together, what is the point of this life."
"People need to stand up to the alt-right regardless of the political divisions imposed upon us," Brickhouse said. "We need to assemble under the flag of equality: Republicans, Democrats, independents."
The protest will not move into the street, but will stay on the corners, which are public property. Phoenixville Middle Ward Councilman Michael Kuznar said that no permits were needed for the event.
"I strongly question the ideological viewpoints of anybody that shows up to a protest making a Hitler salute or wearing a Nazi flag," Phoenixville Middle Ward Councilman Michael Kuznar said. "I don't know how they call themselves Americans. It's disgusting and needs to be denounced by everyone.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 40 racist hate groups active in Pennsylvania, including four in the greater Philadelphia area. Brickhouse hopes the rally in Phoenixville will focus attention and get locals engaged in issues of race.
"Racism is everywhere, I'm not sure why people try to deny it," he said. "It's subtle. It's overt. It covers the entire spectrum...We can fight it, root it out."
It's not the first "Stand With Charlottesville" event in the area. On Sunday night, hundreds gathered in Gorgas Park in Roxborough to denounce the violence. And a vigil, organized by local chapters of the NAACP and YWCA, is planned on Thursday at Memorial Park in Pottstown.
A Facebook page for the Phoenixville event has been started here.