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‘March for Love’ set for Saturday in Salisbury

By Mark Wineka
mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury residents have organized a “March for Love” for Saturday afternoon, part of a statewide response to rumors of a possible Ku Klux Klan victory rally somewhere in North Carolina on the same day.

Teresa Rowell, part of the March for Love Planning Committee, said Tuesday the Salisbury march is not an anti-President-elect Donald Trump or even an anti-KKK event but rather something positive, “to show that this is what our state is made of.”

She said at the very least the March for Love will provide a nonpartisan opportunity for people to come together, maybe meet each other for the first time and participate in something that brings together families and individuals of all ages.

The March for Love will meet at noon Saturday in the parking lot at 270 W. Fisher St., and the plan is to walk around the blocks of Jackson, West Innes, South Church and West Fisher streets.

“It’s more like a lap, I suppose,” Rowell said.

Rowell anticipates there will be a staging area with opening remarks and a song before the march begins and closing remarks at the end. The event is expected to last about an hour.

Police will be on hand to help with safety and to ensure some lanes of traffic are closed. People are being encouraged to bring positive posters or banners.

“Our goal is to gather our community together in a spirit of welcome and unity as we literally ‘March for Love,'” a press release said. “Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join. This is a non-partisan, family friendly event.”

Rowell said she learned Nov. 10 that the KKK had announced plans for a “victory march” Dec. 3 somewhere in North Carolina. She did more investigating on her own of the KKK rumor and concluded “this was really happening.”

“The time of day and place are being kept secret for now,” the Salisbury group said in its press release, “but in reaction to this announcement, we are joining in statewide demonstrations of love and peace.”

Rowell came upon the “March for Love” effort being organized by Beatrice Griffin. According to a March for Love Facebook page, which has 4,168 members in its group, similar events are scheduled Saturday in Asheville, Mebane and Raleigh.

Rowell and Nichole Towns met together initially, and a bigger meeting at Mean Mug Coffee followed, leading to a planning committee.

Judy McDaniel and Rowell navigated the permit process for the march with Brian Stallings of the Salisbury Police Department. The  group also secured permission from the Robertson Family Foundation, owners of the block in question, and made sure it would not be creating any huge conflicts with the Farmers’ Market or Rowan Public Library.

So in a short time, the group secured a city permit, printed flyers, wrote a press release, set up a Facebook event page and made plans for creating posters.

The planning committee members include Rowell, Towns, McDaniel, Maria Vandergriff-Avery, Dora Mbuwayeswango, Evelyn Medina, Kari Hippert, Maggie Blackwell, Llewellen Padgett, Pamela Bloom, Andi Cantrell, Kim Porter and Regina Dancy.

People with questions can contact Rowell at tchristinerowell@gmail.com.

“Our community could use this surge of love at this time,” the group’s press release said. “Let’s show up and stand in unity for everyone who lives in this great state.”

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mark.wineka@salisburypost.com.

 

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