Yorkers rally again for unity

Christopher Dornblaser

Melinda Friend, of West Manchester Township, did not like a lot of the hate she said she was hearing during and after the 2016 presidential election.

She said she wanted to do something, but didn't know how. In the days since Donald Trump won the presidential election, Friend has seen members of the community come out and speak up against the hate she was hearing.

That is what pushed her to speak out with others.

On Sunday, she joined nearly 30 people at Continental Square in York City, rallying for unity.

Community members gather for the York City Unity Walk through York City, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"I'm standing up for peace and love," she said as she held up a sign saying "Spread love, not hate."

Yorkers march for unity

Rally: Those rallying held up various signs displaying similar messages.

"We fight for unity," "One people, one voice" and "Love trumps hate" were among the signs displayed. The rally was met with honks of encouragement as motorists drove through the square.

Josh Behanna, of York City, held a sign supporting unity. Like Friend, he was inspired by seeing his fellow Yorkers support the cause.

"A lot of people are turned down by Trump's slurs and what not, it kind of hit me," he said.

Behanna said seeing everyone coming together for something he believes in was "exhilarating."

"Love trumps hate!" he said.

Lili Kiehner, of Red Lion, makes a sign as she gathers with other community members for the York City Unity Walk through York City, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Lili Kiehner, of Red Lion, painted half of her face the colors of the gay pride flag, supporting gay rights.

"I've just been in shock," she said, describing her feelings since hearing of racism and hatred throughout the country.

Kiehner said because of that, she and her father helped create a Facebook page, "Peace Will Win," as a safe place for people.

Rabiya Kahn, of York City, held up a sign saying "A Proud Muslim American Citizen." Kahn said in the days since the election, she has been posting on Facebook, but Sunday was the first rally she had attended since the the results of the election came in.

Kahn said she wasn't surprised by the results of the election, but she was upset. However, seeing the people come out and the cars honk in support, she knew she wasn't alone in her feelings.

"It's a good reminder," she said.

The rally was the third one in York since Thursday. On Thursday about 20 people marched promoting unity, and Friday a smaller protest, created by a York City student, brought out a smaller crowd.

Lone York City student takes a stand

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.