Neighbors rally against hate after racist graffiti spray-painted around Sammamish

SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- “Hate expands. The only thing force to use against hate is love.”

Peace, unity and no hate. Those were the sentiments expressed by dozens of people who met at Klahanie Park in Sammamish Sunday. The rally was organized by members of the community after a series racist and anti-Semetic graffiti were discovered in the area.

“I’m from Seattle, I came here specifically to be in solidarity with the residents who have been targeted by vandalism, bigotry and anti-Semetic messages which I find completely unacceptable,” said Annaliza Torres, who lives in Seattle.

The Mayor of Sammamish and city council members from neighboring cities like Issaquah and Bellevue were at the rally to show their support. Some parents said they brought their children because it’s an opportunity to teach them valuable lessons.

“I want him to know that kindness always wins. I want him to grow up in this community not feeling judged and not feeling that he has to prove something,” said Yasmine Abdeldayem, who has lived in Sammamish for 10 years.

During the rally, people talked about how inclusive their neighborhood is and how they have no plans to let hateful messages divide their community.

“I don’t believe that this is a symbol or something of this community. What we saw today, this gathering, all the people, all the neighbors coming out, every walk of life, every type of religion was here, everybody was smiling and loving. This is this community,” said Rabbi Shalom Farkash, with Chabad of the Central Cascades.

As a last gesture, organizers used this paper to cover the offensive graffiti and encouraged people to write messages of love, hope and peace.

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