September 1, 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.”
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
NO IDC NY
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
This link leads to the event page: