On October 30, 2010, many gathered at the southeast side of the City Library to witness Jon Stewart restoring sanity and Stephen Colbert trying to keep fear alive. The cold morning didn’t stop supporters from coming. As time passed, more and more people showed up. The RSVP closed at 1224 on the Facebook page according to Samantha Jones, one of the 12 organizers and an SLCC student.
“The final police head count was between 350 and 400,” said Jones.
Kelli Lundgren, one of the leading members, greeted and thanked everyone for coming to be a part of something so important. Lundgren said, “Jon Stewart inspired all of us.” Lundgren also noted that televising this event outside was much “trickier…but it gets the spirit going.”
Bijan J. Hosseini, one of the organizers, began the rally by stating the rules in order to keep the mood light and easy. One of the rules was to end your discussions with a handshake.
“If you are feeling a bit frisky, maybe a hug,” Hosseini added.
Hosseini who is also a former SLCC student had a good feeling about the rally. His message to everyone is, “Don’t expect change to come every four years.”
People were willing to donate by buying stickers and t-shirts; 100 t-shirts and 50 stickers were sold at the rally. A total of $4300 was raised in donations. $3300 was used to pay for the event at the library such as tables, audio, television, etc. $1000 will be used for the Trust for the National Mall, the same place Jon Stewart’s donations are going to.
The 12 best signs were printed and distributed for people to parade around. Among the winners were, “I like tea, with a civilized discourse,” “The left wing is as yummy as the right wing, just ask KFC,” and “I like tea, but not enough to party about it.” Others made their own signs, one being “Fighting doesn’t belong in parties, only in marriages.”
Rena Benton, a rally attendee, clicked on the link to the Facebook page about the rally at meetup.com, which is a website for people to participate in activities of common interest. She also spread the word about the rally and had a couple of friends join her at the library. She believed that this rally was the most placid rally she’s ever attended. Benton wrote her own sign reading, “Against gay marriage? Don’t have one.”
“People shouldn’t be so concerned with their neighbors’ life style if it’s not affecting their own,” Benton said.
The amount of kids at the rally surprised Jones. She took both of her children believing it’s a good idea to make kids aware of the issues happening in the US.
Despite being thrown in a short period of time, Jones views the event as a success.
“In the short amount of time we had to plan it, everyone came together and got things done that never would have been possible for just one person. We appreciate every person that helped out with organizing or attended the rally,” Jones said.