Two rallies were conducted this weekend in Pottsville.
WFMZ TV reports:
Racial tensions escalated in the Schuylkill County borough of Shenandoah yesterday. Protestors gathered at an anti illegal immigration rally, while across town, a unity counter protest was held at the same time.
1. Unity Fest at the Kahillat Isreal Non-Denominational Christian Church
Families and Friends gathered to remember Ramirez and his family and to Pray for Unity and Peace in Pottsville. People gathered at the unity rally. Preaching a message of healing and hope. Pastor John Navarro/Kehillat Israel Church: "We opened the door to this - because this is a positive thing - we want not to see hatred, we want love." Dr. Agapito Lopez/unity organizer: "I think the way this community can get together and heal is to understand each other, to be in the shoes of other people."
The fliers said, "Bring your musical talents, instruments (kazoos are good!), food to share and your peaceful, positive, uplifting spirit! We will have fun stuff for the kids, music, food, movies and a message of hope, inclusivity, and peace within ourselves and our town." As advertised, the gathering was peaceful and harmonious. The community attended and Prayed together!
2. Voice of the People Demonstration sponsored by PA Pundits
The Melanie News Blog reported: "This weekend, a group called Voice of the PeopleUSA/PAPundits plans an ‘anti-immigration’ rally in Shenandoah. Although they claim not to be a white supremacist group, they have a very strong following of neo-Nazis, skinheads, white supremacists, and other such hate groups who will be here with them. This is already drawing national press attention whether we want it or not, and our image to world will be unfairly associated with a swastika."
A commenter added: "Actually the guy draped in the Nazi flag and other white supremacists that attended the Voice of the People USA rally were racists. I’ve never heard anyone call out these guys and gals at any rally. You count them for support just like everyone else in the crowd.
The Unity Festival was the truly peaceful and positive event. Thanks so much for having it. I think it was great that the mayor chose to attend your positive event and not the negative one across town."
The heinous Wendi M. from PA Pundits reported: "This speech was interrupted by none other than Crystal Dillman, the fiancee of Luis Ramirez. (Wendi M. said) Dillman and a few of her friends were holding a Mexican flag and had been standing in the back for some time. They got NO attention from anyone, so they moved into the crowd of patriots, flashing the middle finger along the way.
The crowd got upset, and started to swarm towards her. Smeriglio kept talking, even saying “I guess they don’t care about 9/11″ referring to Dillman and her co-traitors."
OTHER UPDATES: WHP Reports: School for the Charged- POTTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - School officials say two teenagers charged in the beating death of a Mexican man in an eastern Pennsylvania town won't be returning to the classroom. Sixteen-year-old Brandon Piekarsky and 17-year-old Colin Walsh are charged as adults with third-degree murder and other counts in the July 12 beating of 24-year-old illegal immigrant Luis Ramirez. The two are seniors at Shenandoah Valley High School. Superintendent Stanley Rakowsky says their parents will have three options. The two may receive instruction at home from a certified professional staff member and earn a Shenandoah Valley diploma. They may be taught at home by someone with a high school disploma and take the General Educational Development test. Or they may enroll in a cyber school and take classes via computer.