Posters with sociopolitical messages were held up at the Four Corners in Delmar on the evening of Oct. 29. Diego Cagara / Spotlight News
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BETHLEHEM — Over two dozen people held a “Stop the Hate” vigil at the Four Corners on Monday, Oct. 29 in response to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that had happened on Saturday, Oct. 27, resulting in 11 killed and nine injured.
The hour-long vigil began at 5 p.m. and was organized by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, a local organization formed back in 2003 made up of members wanting peace. People gathered by the intersection of Kenwood and Delaware avenues in Delmar with many colorful posters, with messages like “Peace,” “Stand Against Hate,” “Love Trumps Hate,” and “Stop Right-wing Terror.” Many drivers also honked and waved in support while driving past the vigil.
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, being perceived as a hate crime, had been committed by Robert Gregory Bowers, 46, who went inside the Tree of Life — Or L’Simcha Congregation in Squirrel Hill at Pittsburgh, PA and was armed with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and three Glock .357 sig handguns. Prior to shooting, he had yelled anti-Semitic slurs. The 11 victims’ ages ranged from 54 to 97. Bowers has since been arrested by police.
Throughout media coverage and social media since, the incident has related to larger conversations regarding anti-semitism, hate crimes, gun rights, and the country’s political landscape.
A similar local event related to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting will happen on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the College of Saint Rose Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary, located on 959 Madison Ave in Albany. It is part of a series of “Healing Moments” where the discussion will touch on concepts like diversity, religious understanding, unity and the condemnation of violence.
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy will speak at the public forum there, as part of a panel that includes Rabbi Debora S. Gordon of Congregation Berith Sholom in Troy; Imam Dr. Abdulkadir Elmi of the As Al Salaam Mosque; Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Reverend Jim Kane of the Roman Catholic Church; and Reverend Monshin Paul Naamon of the Tendai Buddhist Institute.
For more information on Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace and their upcoming events, visit http://www.bethlehemforpeace.org/ or call 518-466-1192.