WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — Residents and advocates came together outside Warren Town Hall on Sunday to denounce racism and stand against hate in their community.
They held up signs emphasizing love and unity in a peaceful demonstration organized by the East Bay Diversity Group.
The rally comes a week after stickers promoting the KKK started appearing around town.
The stickers, which read “The Original Boys in the Hood” and “The KKK Wants You,” were placed on various road signs throughout Warren.
Warren leaders and residents said they’re outraged by the incident, but people at Sunday’s rally said hate isn’t the answer.
“Our community has been out taking pictures and re-stickering and notifying everyone where those stickers are and our community is on watch and we are not going to let it happen on our watch,” East Bay Diversity founder Mel Bynum said.
The hateful stickers were replaced with new stickers which read “Hate Has No Home Here.”
Rally organizer Mel Bynum told 12 News, the stickers are an infection in town.
“We know that racism is a pandemic and just as much of an illness as COVID-19 is,” she said.
Several leaders of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island also showed their support at the rally. They said this is an issue that cannot be ignored.
“We are here to lead with love and stand with you in solidarity against hatred,” Bernice Morris said.
“This is a horrible thing and everybody here can stop it. Let’s work together, get rid of this hate. We are not going anywhere. We are going to stand right here to fix this problem,” Brother Gary Dantzler said.
Bynum said Warren police are investigating who put up the stickers. She is asking anyone with information to come forward and tell police and said there is a reward being offered.