Members of the Idaho Falls community gathered on the Snake River pier Monday night to rally against hate.
“We will not stand for it in our community,” the Rev. Lyn Lyn Stangland Cameron, of the Unitarian Universalist Church, said.
About six dozen people held signs promoting justice for all and sang songs of love and acceptance. The group said it had one message: Words can hurt and words can heal. The rally came after fliers containing a swastika and white supremacy messages were found in Idaho Falls.
Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper and Councilman John Radford were out the rally.
“While these words are distasteful, as elected officials, when we act together, it becomes government action,” Casper explained to the crowd. “We cannot act as a city. Those words were legal.”
The Idaho Falls Police Department said the flyers were a hoax, but the clergy who organized the rally said they have a message to those responsible.
“The most important thing we can do is gather together and put up a united front that says this is not something we want in our community,” Cameron said. “We are a community that cares. Words can hurt and words can heal.”
Those who attended the rally said they support all walks of life. The ACLU of Idaho said last week the number of hate crimes in 2017 has surpassed the number of hate crimes seen in 2016.