Hundreds gather in Albany to protest KKK victory rally scheduled in North Carolina
ALBANY -- Hundreds of people gathered in Albany today to protest hate -- their rally was in response to reports of a KKK victory rally in North Carolina, that was planned to celebrate President-elect Donald Trump's win.
"This is not business as usual, I'm not usually a protestor,” Dr. Louise Finlayson of Averill Park said.
A couple hundred peaceful protesters filled one of Albany’s busiest intersections Saturday morning.
People coming together -- they say -- to show support for each other, and stand against hate groups throughout the country.
"I think this is a human issue, it's not just one group, if you don't love your neighbor, you don't love anyone, because essentially we are all one,” Finlayson said.
The rally was formed by the Capital Region's Coalition Against Islamophobia to specifically combat KKK groups - celebrating the presidential victory.
"That was deeply concerning to us because this is an organization that's known for hate, and the fact that they endorsed our future president is downright frightening,” co-organizer Fazana Saleem-Ismail said.
"When they are promoting hate, we are promoting love."
Leaders from a number of groups came out to speak.
"We have African American groups, we have peace action groups, churches, synagogues, voices for peace, we have members of the LGBT community represented," Saleem-Ismail said.
The city's mayor also took the mic.
"We have to make sure that our voices are heard and that this president elect knows that he needs to represent each and every one of us," Mayor Kathy Sheehan said.
Many tell us they hear hate speech far too often these days.
"What I fear is an incident of the kind we've seen in Ferguson, in Baltimore, in New Orleans...how will it play out now?” Michael Rivest of Albany said.
The rally included a number of personal stories, original music, and words of encouragement, as well as a march through the city.
"We're trying to start a movement, essentially, to get everybody together and unite against forces of hate."
And to promote, Saleem-Ismail says, love and acceptance.
We reached out to the group from North Carolina to see if that rally was still held – no one returned our call.