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Unity rally to take place in Forest Hills this month, comes weeks after Charlottesville

Rally February 26

Sept. 1, 2017 By Tara Law

A number of Queens activists are coming together for a rally in Forest Hills later this month to denounce the hate that was displayed by white nationalists in Charlottesville.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept 9 and is taking place at MacDonald Park at 5 pm.

The Queens Solidarity Coalition, which came together earlier this year in support of multiculturalism and tolerance, is organizing the rally. The group coordinated a similar event on Feb 26 that drew hundreds of people, and has hosted a series of town hall meetings in support of the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s a lot of fear in the community, and people feel targeted,” said coalition co-founder Ethan Felder. “Displays of hated are becoming much more widespread and mainstream. This is our way of bringing people together. We’re going to stand up for our values when they’re under assault.”

Feb rally

The coalition formed shortly after the inauguration of Donald Trump and his travel ban that restricts citizens from six-majority Muslim countries from entering the United States, Felder said.

Felder is a labor lawyer, a community board member and a lifelong Forest Hills resident. He is Jewish, and believes that his cultural background prepared him to stand up against intolerance.

According to Felder, Queens, the “World’s Borough,” epitomizes how people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds can get along without hate.

“What’s happening in Washington is so antithetical to the values we hold as members of this community,” said Felder. “We’re proud of our diversity, and it works.”

The following organizations are co-sponsoring the rally:

Council on Islamic-American Relations NY Chapter

Forest Hills Asian Association

Jamaica Muslim Center

John Brown Party

Long Island City Coalition

Muslims for Progress

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – Jamaica Branch

New Queens Democrats


Sadhana: A Coalition of Progressive Hindus

South Asian Fund for Education Scholarship and Training

Sunnyside-Woodside Action Group (SWAG)

The Reform Temple of Forest Hills

Turning Point for Women and Families

Urban Agenda Group

Veterans for Peace

Women for Afghan Women


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