WATCH – Hundreds Gather Downtown To Support Immigration To Missoula
Hundreds of people, young and old, gathered near the X's in downtown Missoula on Tuesday afternoon to prepare for a march down Higgins for a rally at Caras Park.
KGVO News spoke with a husband and wife from Ravalli County who specifically came to Missoula to protest the anti-immigration rally last week in Hamilton, saying the event was contrived.
"We did not like the gathering in Hamilton because it was anti-Syrian, it was negative and hateful," said Becky and Bill Peters from Hamilton. "We didn't want people to think we were all like that in Ravalli County. The county commissioners orchestrated this, they set this up, and we're just not going to stand for it as much as we can."
Executive Director of the Missoula United Way, Susan Hay Patrick, walked half a block from her office to join the march.
"I think it is possible for people of good will to discuss and even disagree on important issues about which both sides feel deeply without resorting to hate speech, the demonizing of an entire religion and other unfortunate behaviors," Hay Patrick said. "I'm marching against hate but really for tolerance, compassion and striving towards mutual understanding."
The crowd that swelled to several hundred made their way down the sidewalks on both sides of Higgins to Caras Park for a pro-immigration rally.