Veterans for Peace Fill Lowell, MA Restaurant to Decry Hate Crime

patrick scalonA group of war veterans recently sent a Lowell, Massachusetts vandal a message that they won’t tolerate hate crimes against an Iraqi-owned business in their community.

In reaction to a rock being thrown through the window of the Babylon Restaurant, Vietnam veteran Patrick Scanlon leaped into action. As the coordinator of the Greater Boston chapter of Veterans for Peace, he organized a rally joined by area veterans, many of whom had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joined by Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy, the vets rallied at the restaurant. Some held signs and others packed the restaurant. Over 100 people gathered that night to eat at the establishment.

“This solidarity gives us the courage to stand,” Babylon owner Leyla Al-Zubaydi was quoted as saying. “There is no more fear in my heart because there are such nice people behind us.”

It is the peacebuilding work of outspoken members of our communities that forges change. Fearing isolation from one’s peer group is one of the strongest determiners of behavior. By decrying acts of hate, the citizens of Lowell responded to let their community know that intolerance and violence would not find support among them. It is in such heroic acts of solidarity that we pave the way for peace in our society.

Video of event: Veterans for Peace and supporters fill the Babylon Restaurant in Lowell for dinner in a show of support, after the restaurant\’s window was smashed.

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