Gunn High School students sang, Lowell High School students danced, Olympia, Wash. citizens mobilized every facet of the community, and in Newark, Calif., as in Tucson, Ariz., there were angels.
Here at Not In Our Town, we highlight communities standing together to fight hate. In our 15 years of making films, we have documented a number of proactive, creative and peaceful responses to hate groups, including the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) and white supremacist groups such as Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan and the National Socialist Movement.
In January, we noticed a surge of interest in these anti-hate events and rally videos, particularly after the Westboro Baptist Church threatened to protest the funerals of the Arizona shooting victims, and the Tucson community responded en masse. And not surprisingly, one of our most popular videos on NIOT.org is "Gunn High School Sings Away Hate" which has garnered more than 225,000 views on our YouTube channel. The video was shot in 2010, when the Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions. The students of Gunn High School, located in Palo Alto, Calif., decided they wanted to affirm their own values.
See the video collection now: Community Responses to Hate Groups.