SUNBURY-- This past week, hate messages were posted throughout the city of Sunbury. This came as a shocking and hurtful blow to many residents, so Saturday afternoon a group of people gathered for an anti-hate rally.
"Sunbury is a caring and loving community and we would love to keep it that way. We want to keep it as a safe community."
Protesters gathered in Sunbury for an anti-hate rally. It is in response to hate flyers that were posted in the last week. To some residents, those hateful messages negatively portray the city.
"They're trying to revitalize the city and if some people feel they're un-welcomed or unsafe, why would they shop here? Why would they live here? More importantly, there's kids here from all different backgrounds and they need to grow up in a place where they know they're valued," said Peter Toscano of Sunbury.
"This is not acceptable and this is not who we are. This is not the message that we want to give the world. We want to give a very different message," said Cynthia Peltier of Sunbury
For Regina Russell, who organized the protest, she looks at diversity as a positive thing.
"I want different food. I want restaurant row up and down the street. I want to hear different music, see the different cultures dancing, and that's what I'm hoping this city will eventually become," said Russell.
The residents who we spoke to describe Sunbury as a diverse community, a community that is welcoming to people of all walks of life. Their main reason for being at this protest was simple, to stand against hate.
"We should stand together because if you stand together, that's an example of strength and that strength will drive these people out.," said Russell.
"The most important thing is bringing about long-term change that changes the culture, so that people who live in the city see somebody who's clearly visiting, they feel free to go up and say 'hey, hi, you're welcome, can I help you with something?' That's the type of welcoming culture we're looking to have here," said Toscano.
The group of about 15 to 20 people wanted to make it known that Sunbury is a city that is open to having everybody. Contrary to those flyers posted anonymously.