GAINESVILLE, Ga. - Organizers of a protest against bigotry and hate met at a Confederate monument in downtown Gainesville and had one rule for everyone in the march: no hateful signs, speech or vulgar language allowed.
"All we're doing today is speaking out against racism and hate. We're dropping all of our other disagreements. That's what Facebook is for!" said organizer Josh McCall to the crowd of hundreds of people.
Hundreds of people started to march from Roosevelt Square to a local park in Gainesville. Organizers said the protest did not take a stand for or against the local Lt. General James Longstreet Confederate monument in the square, but different protesters who disagreed on the issue chose to march together in the spirit of combating racism.
"I want [my children] to understand hate is not tolerated. It's not okay," said mom Natalie Vazquez, who brought her children to march alongside other families.
Organizers purposely invited people of different colors, and leaders of different local religious groups and both Republicans and Democrats to participate in the march together, hoping to send a message to people nationwide that similar protests can be done peacefully.
Marchers plan to organize similar protests in other counties across North Georgia.