From Rod Geredas at: rodgereda.wordpress.com
Dear Friends ~
Please join us on Saturday, August 30 for a Unity Celebration as an alternative to the anti-immigration rally being held across town.
This weekend, a group called Voice of the PeopleUSA/PAPundits plans an ‘anti-immigration’ rally in Shenandoah. Although they claim not to be a white supremacist group, they have a very strong following of neo-Nazis, skinheads, white supremacists, and other such hate groups who will be here with them. This is already drawing national press attention whether we want it or not, and our image to world will be unfairly associated with a swastika.
VOP makes speeches that are meant to stir up fears, create hostility between neighbors and divide us, at a time when we are trying to come to terms with the tragedies that have struck at our hearts. They attract violent and hateful people. Our Mayor, Thomas O’Neill, has publicly stated that he is very concerned about the impact of the rally on our town.
Their aim is to gain a foothold here, returning again and again until they are a permanent part of our community. We cannot allow this to happen. We have a choice.
Most of us wish it would all stop so we can try to get back to normal, but wishing won’t make that happen. As much as we might want to ignore it, stay out of it, let it quiet down, be neutral and go back to our everyday lives, we can’t yet. People like VOP make that impossible.
Our silence will look like approval.
So, in response, Shenandoah is doing one of the things we do best:
We’re throwing a party!
The only proven way to counter their effect is to hold a positive, safe, meaningful and uplifting event at the same time. Stealing their thunder is the ONLY way to get them out and keep them out. They are using us and our misfortunes for their own agenda .
So this Saturday, August 30th, 6 -7 :30PM, Kahillat Isreal Non-Denominational Christian Church, 213 W. Oak St, Shenandoah
the Unity Fest is ON!
Bring yourselves, your families, your buddies, your co-workers, your neighbors….well, you get it.
Bring your musical talents, instruments (kazoos are good!), food to share and your peaceful, positive, uplifting spirit! We will have fun stuff for the kids, music, food, movies and a message of hope, inclusivity, and peace within ourselves and our town.
Remember this poem, written about Nazi Germany?
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
We must stand now and be counted, affirming our values of community spirit, our affection for our hometown, our neighbors, and our hopes for our future. It is the only way to keep these groups out and clear up any misconceptions about who we are, people who care, people whose spirit makes wonderful things happen, like our Heritage Day Parade and Festival, the SV Alumni Band and so many more fantastic events.
This will be a secure, non-violent event, a gathering of good people who want peace and prosperity for our town.
Please forward this to your family, friends, neighbors, churches, scout troops, volunteer groups, fire companies, co-workers, businesses… Have some fun while making an important difference.
The more the merrier! The stronger our numbers, the stronger our impact.
Saturday, August 30th,
6 to 7:30PM,
Kahillat Isreal Non-Denominational Christian Church
213 W. Oak St
The Unity Fest is ON!
We’ll see you there!
Thalo Kersey – email@example.com – 570-640-4612
Lou Ann Pleva – firstname.lastname@example.org – 570-462-0411
Rev. Maria Navarro – email@example.com – 570-590-8860
Note: The following story is not available (as of this writting) on the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader web site.
Witness to the event, Eileen Burke: ”I came back from the city. I moved here and I cannot believe there is so much hatred to do a beating like this,” said Eileen Burke. She is a retired Philadelphia police officer and witnessed part of the beating. “What this did was brutal to me. It was brutal.”
PORT CARBON — Eleven days after a Shenandoah man died from injuries he suffered in an assault, two teenagers were charged Friday with homicide — exposing them to possible life sentences — and an 18-year-old man was charged with less serious offenses.
Colin J. Walsh, 17, and Brandon J. Piekarsky, 16, both of Shenandoah Heights, were charged in connection with the death of Luis E. Ramirez Zavala, 25, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was assaulted July 12 in the area of Vine and Lloyd streets. Ramirez died two days later at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Another person allegedly involved, Derrick M. Donchak, 18, of Shenandoah, was not charged with the most serious offense, criminal homicide.
Walsh and Piekarsky were each charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and ethnic intimidation. Piekarsky also was charged with criminal solicitation to hinder apprehension and purchase or consumption of liquor.