Asbury Park, NJ – A day before a stand against hate rally was to take place, a trans-gender volunteer was attacked by a man at a signage making event. Morris May, 22, of Scott Plains was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a weapon. Authorities say the pair got into an argument over politics. Volunteer Allison Kolarik said as she tried to leave, May continually blocked her and suddenly pepper sprayed her. She told NBC, the event would not stop her fight, “What are you going to do, let it take over? Let people like that win?”
And it didn’t. Hundreds marched forward and gathered in Asbury Park to unify against hate, white supremacy, and bigotry. Community activist and pastor, Nicolle Harris and Jess Alamino, a comedian/activist, pulled together other organizations and community leaders to host the event at Springwood Park in light of the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA.
All races, colors, creeds, and backgrounds gathered to make the message clear : hate will not prevail, but love will. Speakers invoked the message that the dialogue must continue in order to fight against hate, unify, and dismantle of white supremacy.
Jennifer Lewinsky, the founding member of Black Lives Matter Chapter of Asbury Park told the audience “we’re not concerned with individual racist people, the problem is the very foundation our country is built on … that is white supremacy”
The event featured over 2 1/2 hours of speakers and community leaders from Asbury Park-Neptune NAACP President Aridenne Sanders, Executive Director of Garden State Equality Christian Fuscarino, Mychal Mills of KYDS, community activist Tyrone Laws, and many more.
Ending with a message of inspiration, Nicolle Harris said, “We cannot allow hate to win, because if hate wins, we all lose … So my question to you is, are you committed to love?”.
The crowd, enamored with hope, roared “yeah!”.
“And that means, you have to love them by any means necessary”, roared Nicolle Harris.