Letter: Stand Up To Hate thankful for support
To the Editor:We've all seen the national news, of course, about the millions upon millions of marchers— women, children and men— standing up to have their voices heard on Saturday, Jan. 21. What an amazing demonstration of political will and solidarity!Equally as significant, albeit on a smaller, more local scale, was the recent "Stand Up To Hate, Rally at the Roundabout" on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 20! On a day where so many of the members of sponsoring groups Stand Up To Hate and MoveOn Manchester had prior travel commitments to Washington, Boston and New York, the turnout was still wonderful with various combinations and gatherings of group members and interested passersby taking part in the opportunity to send our important message to the world throughout the afternoon. Additionally, there was the very welcome and added surprise of the Earth Sky Time bread bus stopping by for most of the day to offer up free hearth-baked pizza to participants and spectators. We would very much like to thank Oliver Levis and everyone from the Earth Sky Time Farm for their delicious and invaluable support!Although there were a variety of signs brought by protesters, there was a one word, universal theme that connected them all: RESPECT. Beyond any short or long term political objectives, the primary goal of this rally was to remind the world that there is nothing more significant than treating our fellow human beings with respect, and in sharing and spreading this message, every single participant felt heartened by the overwhelming show of support received by passing motorists. Perhaps the favorite moment experienced by many of the demonstrators was when one enthusiastic group of BBA students drove by, cheered our efforts loudly, and then returned in five minutes with coffee for everyone and jumped right on to the circle with us to join in with their own signs. (Thanks again guys.)Although response was overwhelmingly positive, we did of course get occasional thumbs downs, head shakes, raised middle fingers and a couple of waved Trump signs. That, of course, is freedom of speech. But truly, lest there be any misunderstanding between them and us, in saying "Stand Up To Hate," "Embrace Diversity" and so many of our other messages, we were and are simply talking about the very real need to treat each other, and all people, despite their color, religion, background or political affiliation, with respect.Thank you again to all who showed up and the countless roundabout drivers who honked and waved. Your support and joy made the day complete. For more information on joining our group and being part of the movement, visit http://Standuptohate.net or write Standuptohate16@gmail.com.
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