PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The third annual Portlanders Stand with Refugees and Immigrants event started with a moment of silence. The event held a special significance just one day after at least 49 people were killed and dozens more injured in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers in New Zealand.
Portland Department of Parks and Recreation, which organizes the event, said it’s all about making everyone feel welcome.
Hundreds of people from many different cultures came together for music, dancing and food.
“Something like this makes me feel like home,” Saalim Saalim said.
HAPPENING NOW: The third annual Portlanders Stand with Refugees and Immigrants event one day after #NewZealandMosqueShooting #KOIN6News pic.twitter.com/j8TkJgcw5n— Velena Jones (@velenajones) March 16, 2019
Portland police and park rangers had a visible presence at the event, adding more officers than originally planned.
Yufus Iqbal thinks Portland police and city officials have done a great job.
“It’s horrible,” Iqbal said of the attacks. “I think that all humanity in good conscious have to come together. This attack is not only an attack on the Muslim community, it’s an attack on peace-loving people.”
City Commissioner Nick Fish said the city is committed to welcoming everyone.
“I will work with each of you to create a safe and welcoming community for everyone to link arms with people of good faith to counter Islamophobia, racism and bigotry,” Fish said.
Some don’t want to let the attacks cause fear.
“Many people are good, so I should not worry about one person who is bad,” Saalim said. “Life is short, let’s be loving each other.”