In an interview with The Daily Beast, Heather Heyer’s mother Susan Bro described the measures she must take to guard her daughter’s grave from far-right vandals. Heyer's "completely protected" burial site is kept secret, and Bro reveals the location to family and friends who would pay their respects on a need-to-know basis. Sixteen months after the murder, the family is still subjected to threats from neo-Nazis.
"It’s a symptom of hate in society that you should have to protect your child’s grave, for Pete’s sake," Bro said. "So, I’m protecting my child now."
The 32-year-old Heyer was protesting last year’s Unite the Right white supremacist rally when she was run over by James Fields Jr., a 21-year-old white supremacist. Fields was convicted on Friday of first degree murder, eight counts of malicious wounding, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing a death. He faces 20 years to life in prison, as well as an outstanding federal hate crime indictment.
Since her daughter’s murder, Bro has become an outspoken voice against hate. In the days following Heyer's killing, Bro says she fielded phone calls from the White House but refused to speak to President Trump after his "fine people on both sides" remark:
You can’t say there were good people coming into town with their fists taped prepared to draw blood and do harm. That’s not good people. Nazis: bad people. White supremacists: bad people. And I don’t see that you can call it any other way. If you choose to align yourself with those people, and you choose to call them ‘good,’ then you’ve told me what sort of person you are. So now I have your number and now I know how I choose to respond to you. And in his case, that means: ‘I’m not responding to you, you don’t get my time of day.’
"I would like to say no other mother has to have her child die for social justice, but I know that’s not happening," said Bro. "So I will do my part."
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