‘Not In My Community’ Rally Held Outside Of New Bedford City Hall
NEW BEDFORD- The rally organized by Reverend David Lima in response to Saturday’s chaotic situation in Charlottesville, Virginia, named Not In My Community, had a turnout of over 200 people on Tuesday night.
As the Executive Minister of the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford, Reverend Lima knew something had to be done following the deaths of Heather Heyer and two Virginia State Troopers, and recognized New Bedford for having a “history of coming together after traumatic events”.
The rally featured speakers, prayers, and songs all supporting diversity and love for one another within the city. The rally and those who attended it were united in delivering the same message throughout the peaceful gathering amid concerns of the possibility of it turning violent like Charlottesville did not come to fruition.
Mayor of New Bedford Jon Mitchell attended and spoke at the rally. Mitchell said New Bedford stands in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, saying "there is no place in America for bigotry, there is no place for racism, and there is no place for treating others as less than human."
Mitchell praised New Bedford for its commitment to fairness and also challenged the city to set an example for cities across the country to adopt.
"So let our commitment to fairness be our strength, and let us here in New Bedford continue to be an example of openness and compassion for all of America." Mitchell said. "That is such a testament to the values of this community. This is wonderful, and I'm so proud to be your mayor” he said.
City Councilor Linda Morad was another hometown politician amongst the rally’s many speakers. The city councilor advised the crowd to continue to stand unified, and advised the not to be influenced by the situations unfolding in other parts of the country.
"Don't let what's wrong and what's going on in other parts of our country affect our city or continue to happen in our city. Stand together, make sure we work together and let's continue to be able to stand together in this free, beautiful country where people die to come here to live the way we live," Morad said.
Morad’s message was on the behalf of Ward Three City Councilor Hugh Dunn, Ward Four Councilor Steve Martins, and Councilor At-Large Naomi Carney, who all attended the rally but did not publicly speak.
Other notable speakers included Reverend Sharyn Halliday of the Bethel AME Church in New Bedford, President of the local chapter of the NAACP Bruce Rose, and event organizer Reverend Lima.
"Because we can talk about change, but until we actually take a step and do it, and it's scary to do it, but that's how we're going to make change,” Lima said. “It's the only way to make change,” he said.