Residents gather to show support, speak out against hate

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) Earlier this week WTWO told you about bags of rocks containing white supremacist flyers that had been thrown into yards around the valley. Now residences are coming together in solidarity.  

A white supremacist flyer was displayed during a rally Wednesday night before it was tossed to the ground showing that hate will not be tolerated. 

“That person had the freedom of speech to write it, and I had the freedom to crumple it up,” President of the Interfaith Council of the Wabash Valley Arthur Feinsod said.  

Over the weekend, propaganda like what you see here was found in yards in Terre Haute.  

The Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute confirmed it was also targeted. 

Residents and local organizations gathered on the steps of the Vigo County courthouse to show the community that propaganda like this does not belong in the valley.  

“We came together first of all because there were some among us that were fearful and we want them to know that we will support one another and that there’s no room for hate in our state,” Sister Barbara Battista   

More than 80 people showed up carrying signs and banners showing their support for love over hate.  

For more than an hour prayers, songs and stories were shared.  

For Ivy Tech student Robert Neff, the rally brought him to tears when he talked about his grandfather who fought and served in the army on D-Day during World War 2. 

“I grew up hearing wonderful things about Terre Haute and the community and seeing leaflets distributed with something that he fought against, it just stirred something in me,” College student Robert Neff said. “I felt like we had to do something.”  

Many at the rally also talked about Indiana’s Hate Crimes Law. 

They said the bill does not go far enough and leaves out groups such as gender, sex and age and that the law has to change.  

We want to make sure that women have those rights for them and go out and vote for people that is going to have the interest of women, children and families,” President of the Greater Terre Haute NAACP Sylvester Edwards said.  

Those in attendance say the rally helped lift their spirits and it gave them hope.  

“When you get this number of people from all different religions, all different ethnicities coming together and saying love and respect will defeat hate and intolerance and to me that is Terre Haute,” Feinsod said.   

If you weren’t able to come out Wednesday night, there will be a diversity walk held this Saturday in Terre Haute. 

There will also be a rally on the steps of the state house in Indianapolis July 1st.  

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