HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Hundreds gathered at the Capitol’s steps Saturday, in response to a rally held by the National Socialist Movement.
While the white rights advocates were chanting and yelling, a unity rally was being held a few blocks away promoting equality and non-violence.
“Instead of focusing on the divisions that separate us from society today, why not focus on the things that unite us? Because we are stronger as a whole,” Rafay Nasir, a volunteer speaker, said.
The unity rally was at John Harris High School’s auditorium. They called it “Speak up for Unity!”
“That fact that we have diversity here coming together speaks stronger,” Merced Rammirez said.
All in response to the National Socialist group speaking at the Capitol’s steps.
“We’re not just going to sit back and let them spew hate. We’re going to stand against them we’re going to do it in a way that’s not violent,” Unique Eaton, a supporter of the Unity Rally, said.
Local civic and faith groups came out, hoping to reach young people with the message that love is always stronger.
“It’s stronger than fear, it’s stronger than history, it’s stronger than hate,” Ann Van Dyke, a volunteer with the Community Responders Network, said.
Hundreds of supporters and volunteers gave a voice to acknowledge the positive work in the community. They said it’s important not to be silent.
“To be the same way they are would then give them the ability to say, ‘oh look they’re violent. they’re exactly what we think they are,’ and I don’t want to give them that satisfaction,” Eaton said.
The organization that hosted the event, Community Responders Network, said they’ll continue to have a wide variety of unity events throughout Harrisburg.