OSSINING, N.Y. -- In light of political rhetoric some fear is divisive, more than 150 people will be gathering in the Village of Ossining Friday to show they stand united.
A Peace and Unity Vigil and Rally is being held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Market Square in downtown Ossining. The rally will feature speeches from elected officials, clergy, a candle lighting and a performance from Katie Gorycki.
"The political climate has been very aggressive recently," event organizer Omar Herrera said. "A lot of residents, groups, and churches wanted to come together to rally and unite."
Herrera said a village like Ossining, that is diverse both ethnically and socioeconomically was the perfect place to host a rally.
"We're technically a sanctuary city," Herrera said. "The issues that are being discussed and executive orders that are being signed hit everyone at home."
Herrera later said his statement on Ossining being a sanctuary city was a "symbolic" one. He said he wanted to host a public forum to clarify the many questions, concerns and processes around the idea of a sanctuary city.
Herrera cautioned that the event was not a rally against President Donald Trump, despite many of the speakers leaning to the left politically.
"That's not how I envisioned it or why I created the event," Herrera said. "Our elected officials happen to all be Democrats. The majority of our clergy are also liberal or progressive Democrats."
Speakers include Ola Nosseir, representing Ossining's Muslim community, Christina Picciano, representing the LGBT Community and Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity and Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg. Herrera said it was important to get a diverse group of speakers from age to faith to topics.
"We have a whole list of concerns," Herrera said. "From the president's executive order (denying entry to Syrian refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries) to people being discriminated against because of their faith- those issues will be present here."
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