Thousands of people marched and rallied against hate Sunday in Los Gatos.
Forty different groups helped organize the march through the streets of Los Gatos and a rally at civic center.
“We know that silence is deadly. If left unchallenged, these hostilities persist and grow,” Diane Fischer, co-organizer of Sunday’s rally, said.
The show of solidarity comes after several incidents this year that included disruptive Town Council meetings with protesters speaking out against the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBTQ community.
In one meeting, community members targeted Mayor Marico Sayoc and her family, and there were also protests outside her home.
On Halloween, Los Gatos High School was vandalized with racist and homophobic graffiti. "Silent complicity creates pain,” Sayoc said.
Sayoc talked to NBC Bay Area about the city’s work to make Los Gatos a community for all people and about the huge turnout in support of that goal.
“We should be able to rise above and celebrate each other regardless of our racial background, religion or the people we love. So, this validates that it is needed, and I will continue to do it,” she said.
Los Gatos resident Ben Carter carried his pride flag after seeing too much news coverage about hate in his city.
“It’s inspiring to have everyone come out, it’s just been great. And, it’s nice for the community to come together after some unfortunate news articles," he said.
For Sayoc, Sunday’s event was a demonstration that all hate is unwelcome in her city.
“We’re a community of peace. We’re a community of love, and we’re a community that will stand together in solidarity,” she said.