Hundreds come out in Tosa with message of peace

Hundreds come out in Tosa with message of peace
Hundreds come out in Tosa with message of peace
Hundreds come out in Tosa with message of peace
Posted at 10:13 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-19 11:51:22-04

Meeting hate with love, that is the message in Wauwatosa as community members held a demonstration to show that everyone is welcome in their neighborhood.

People lined the street around city hall, brought together by Tosa Together. It is a citizen group that formed last year. Their message Friday night was simply one of peace after the problems in Charlottesville.

"For people to spontaneously come out and say this is who we are, this is what we want. We love people, we value people," said Margaret Arney of Tosa Together.

More than 200 people showed up, many with signs that said things "Love not hate" and "Love all." A message Tosa Together wants their neighbors to hear was chanted by members: "Hate has no home here."

It's a message Elana Kahn of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation appreciates after the anti-Semitic comments and white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. They said people need to leave politics out of what happened and focus on the issues.

"It's not about people on the left or people on the right or liberals or conservatives or Democrats or Republicans that is a diversion. It's about people who accept and believe in hate and people who reject it as a basic value," Kahn said.

The Jewish Federation said since the protests, they have had more people reach out to them. But they said it has to go beyond a one-time activity.

"It can't be that it strengthens fear. It has to be that strengthens the ties of community that bind us together," Kahn said.

Though, they said Friday's demonstration was a good place to start.

"As a member of our community we stand up for each other and we stand up against hate speech," said Heather Kuhl, who lives in Wauwatosa with her children.

The Jewish Federation said they starting an anti-hate program for teens and they are planning more outreach for the community.