Motorists passing through downtown State College on Sunday night might have noticed the large crowd of people gathered outside of the gates to Old Main on College Avenue.
The group was difficult to miss, thanks in large part to signs that bore slogans like “Hate Has No Home Here” and “Silence is Complicity.” Toss in a few rousing choruses of “This Land is Your Land” and you have yourself a vigil.
We mostly wanted to get people together, let them know they’re not alone.
Organized by the Centre County Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the gathering was in response to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday when a car was driven into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally.
Doug Kulchar is on the organizing committee of DSA and helped to mobilize Sunday’s vigil. He was happy that they were able to turn out a sizable crowd on short notice.
“We mostly wanted to get people together, let them know they’re not alone,” Kulchar said.
A member of my church used to say that when you sing you pray twice.
After a brief moment of silence and a few words by Kulchar, Christine O’Donovan-Zavada — a community organizer with Planned Parenthood who is also active with the DSA — led the crowd through a rendition of “Solidarity Forever,” “This Land is Your Land” and a few other songs.
“A member of my church used to say that when you sing, you pray twice,” O’Donovan-Zavada said.