Yorkers continue rallying for unity

Christopher Dornblaser
  • A small group of locals came out to rally for unity in York City Thursday afternoon.
  • It was the fourth rally in the square since last Thursday.

Concerned Yorkers took to the streets once again Thursday afternoon to rally for unity.

Nearly a dozen people demonstrated at Continental Square in what would be the fourth such event in one week.

The rallies are in response to reports of racism and hatred nationwide and locally following the election of President-elect Donald Trump.

The rally: The activists held up signs to the motorists and passers-by and were sometimes greeted with honks of encouragement from those driving through the city.

"We Stand Together," "We Are All We Have" and "Unity for All" were among a few of the signs being held up.

Mike Sheldon of Dover, center, joins a group of York County residents as they stand to promote unity on Continental Square, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. Led by local activist John Beck, the group is promoting peace for everyone and not trying to make a political statement. John A. Pavoncello photo

One activist, Mary Wine, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, who held a sign saying "Equality Starts With Understanding," grew up in Spring Garden Township and felt the need to join in the rally while she was visiting family in the area. Wine said she has friends living in the area who are of different sexual orientations or races, and they told her they were afraid to put themselves out there.

"I'm willing to do it for them," she said.

Yorkers march for unity

Tony Strouse, of Dover, helped organize two of the previous rallies at the square. Strouse said groups would continue to rally, supporting any group of people that might feel unsafe.

"We're still going to have their back," he said.

Lone York City student takes a stand

Strouse's friend, Mike Sheldon, also of Dover, shared similar thoughts.

"We want to put united back in United States," he said.

Mircely Cruz of York jumps out of her car for a hug from local activist John Beck as he leads a group of York County residents unity walk on Continental Square, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

York City activist John Beck was encouraged by the way people were reacting to the rally. He emphasized that the rally was not a protest but rather a call for unifying the community.

"It's not against anybody, it's to bring people together," he said.

Yorkers rally again for unity

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