More than 200 celebrate 'unity' with counter rally in North College Hill

CINCINNATI - To counter a National Alliance white power rally in North College Hill Friday, more than 200 black and white residents held a unity rally to salute the city's diversity.

The rally, which was just down the street from the National Alliance rally, looked more like a block party than a serious demonstration.

There was even line dancing with black and white residents of North College Hill at the rally to show there has been no increase in racial tensions in the city since a white man was severely beaten by a group of black teenagers who were allegedly "bored" on Aug. 11.

Unity rally organizers, including the local ministry group, T.H.U.G Ministries, organized the gathering along with North College Hill community leaders. T.H.U.G stands for Truth, Hope, Unity and Grace.

More than 200 people participated in the rally that was held on the grounds of the North College Hill City Center at 1500 West Galbraith Road from noon until 2 p.m.

North College Hill council member Maureen Mason said it was important for her to attend the rally to show that North College Hill is a united and diverse community.

She said her residents understand that there is no hate crime in Ohio that the attackers could face. But she says most of her residents understand that multiple felonies are a stiff punishment if a court determines a crime has been committed.

Bridges for a Just Community, a Cincinnati-based civil rights group, had officials on hand for the rally, that they supported. They said they'll continue to work with North College Hill leaders to support diversity and increase racial understanding in the community.

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