Hundreds Gather in Pasadena Park to Decry El Paso Violence, White Supremacy

Published : Thursday, August 8, 2019 | 5:50 AM

About 200 gathered in Villa Parke Wednesday night to decry the violence of the mass shooting in El Paso and the white supremacy they said motivated the deadly attack.

An organizer also urged action, saying “until we can make a solid front to protect ourselves, we’re all at risk of this happening in our own towns and neighborhoods.”

The peaceful crowd listened to invocations and comments in both English and Spanish, and to music.

Several carried signs which welcomed immigrants and refugees, denounced hate and violence, and accused the Trump administration of ethnic cleansing.

Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and his wife Maria, Councilmember Victor Gordo and Police Chief John Perez and several members of his command staff were in the audience.

Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, Executive Director of Friends In Deed, delivered an invocation.

Beforehand he explained the vigil would gather people who would “raise our voices both in prayer and in song and in action to call on our leaders to take strong measures to pass sensible gun reform, to keep us safer on our streets and in our communities. as the only developed nation in the world that has to suffer these mass shootings on a weekly basis.”

The audience was dotted with families, and some children joined their parents in holding battery-powered candle-like lights.

“I hope that the entire Pasadena community realizes that we must all step up, not just those that are affected, not just those that have blended families, in order to secure our community from the threats that are going on,” said organizer Jennipha Lauren. “Keep in mind, there’s been so many individuals radicalized online, meaning we are all vulnerable. Until we can make a solid front to protect ourselves, we’re all at risk of this happening in our own towns and neighborhoods.”