Peaceful vigils held in Central Pa. to stand in solidarity with people in Charlottesville

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- After seeing how the protest in Charlottesville, Va., brought violence to one community, people in Pennsylvania were inspired to come together to promote peace.

Hundreds of people gathered in Lancaster and York to make a statement: They are united with the people of Charlottesville.

Rev. Roland Forbes, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, said, "I wish everyone would just put aside all these things for a moment. We have enough volatility in the world that we don't need that around here. Neither do we need it in the United States."

Rev. Christopher Rodkey, the pastor at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, said, "To really take ownership and responsibility and take a hard look in the mirror and to invite the community to do so as well."

The rally in Charlottesville left one person dead. Demonstrators who attended the vigils said it's horrifying that acts of racism like the one in Virginia are still going on in 2017.

Raymond Martin, of Lancaster, said, "It's terrible and it's scary that this kind of thing should break out in this way. It's not who we ought to be. I hope our nation can change."

One person who some people hoped would lead that change is President Donald Trump, but they are disappointed by his response to the events.

Diane Fisher, from Lancaster, said, "The person who is our president did not come out strongly enough and denounce those people, those neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan."

It's why many came to gather peacefully to act against the violence.

Sandra Thomas, of Lancaster, said, "I'm coming out, and this is my voice to say, 'Here, I'm standing in the truth that we shouldn't live this way in the United States.'"

Nelly Torres, with Lancaster Stands Up, said, "It's just a waste of energy to hate. You don't win when you do something like that."

In addition to the vigil, Lancaster Stands Up also collected donations to help people who were injured in Charlottesville.

Organizers said these vigils are happening all over the country, not just here in Central Pennsylvania.