State Politics

Unity rally draws hundreds to Boise Capitol after election tension

Statesman Staff

Unity rally attendees sit on the steps of the Idaho Capitol Building on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Unity rally attendees sit on the steps of the Idaho Capitol Building on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Around 500 people gathered on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol building on Saturday afternoon in what organizers called a rally for unity following last week's election results.

Though organizers on Facebook made it clear that "this is not an anti-Trump rally," many speakers criticized President-Elect Donald Trump and his rhetoric, while condemning racism and bigotry.

"I want to emphasize that this is not a protest or a hate rally," said Nora Harren, a senior at Borah High School who helped organize the gathering. "We want to work for something rather than against it. ... We celebrate diversity and understand that there is strength in diversity."

Still, there were moments of tension at the rally, with a group of about 30 counter-protesters attending and some passersby yelling angrily from their cars. A lineup of speakers continued to promote messages of understanding.

"We live our lives in particular bodies, and these bodies are differently colored, they're differently abled, they're differently oriented and they're differently shaped," said Marci Glass, pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Boise. She asked attendees to listen to people "whose lives are embodied differently than our own."

Earlier in the week, a few hundred people gathered in the same spot to protest Trump's election, following the example of protesters in major cities across the country. In many of those cities, protests have continued into the weekend.

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