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Opposition to anti-Muslim bigotry, racism, and war: Asheville stands up to threatened Koran burning

By staff

SDS at UNC-Asheville protest bigotry, racism, and war on Sept 11

Asheville, NC – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at University of North Carolina-Asheville and allied community members assembled at Pack Square Sept. 11, united to oppose bigotry, racism and war. The demonstrators stood determined to promote their peace and justice message in solidarity with the Gainesville chapter of SDS who were leading a large protest against Terry Jones and the Koran burning that same day.

There was a nationwide movement to stop the extremely offensive act. SDS is strongly opposed to the anti-Muslim trend being fostered by the rich and powerful, in particular Republican politicians and the Tea Party. The Ashville students and progressive people assembled despite the persistent rain and the reaction from the community was very supportive.

SDS member Sarah Buchner, who had the good foresight to bring an umbrella, was pleased with the turnout, “It really says something when people will get out despite the rain and stand up against racism and bigotry and support the principle of religious freedom. We know events like this are going on all over the country and we know we are sending a clear message: bigotry and religious persecution are not compatible with the truly free society that we want to create.”

In a turn of events, Pastor Terry Jones, the leader of the Dove World Outreach Center, under heavy public pressure from groups including Students for a Democratic Society, broke and decided not to burn Qur’ans. “I am not surprised about it,” said SDS member Michael Graham, “When voices are unified against racism and xenophobia like this, the promoters of division and hatred will always break.”

With nearly 30 people attending the rally, Asheville SDS is off to a good start for the school year. SDSers have already showed a documentary, Rethink Afghanistan and are building for the, Oct. 2 “Jobs, Education and Equality” rally in Washington D.C.

#AshevilleNC #StudentMovement #UNCAsheville #StudentsForADemocraticSocietySDS #DoveWorldOutreachCenter