Community gathers for forum on hate crime - Tucson News Now

Community gathers for forum on hate crime

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Members of the community gather for a public forum on hate crimes Wednesday evening. 

Joel Feinman, and Nate Terani organized this forum. 

This forum comes just a few weeks after recent bomb threats to the Tucson Jewish Community Center and vandalism at the Islamic Center of Tucson. 

The panelists included Najima Rainey, a Black Lives Matter activist, Ziara Livier, a living wage activist and immigration rights activist, Harpo Jaeger, the co-founder of Affinity.works and Oula Bibidi, a Muslim-American and Syrian immigrant and activist. 

Panelists and organizers said the goal was to have an open discussion about things happening in our community. 

There are federal laws on hate crimes and the City of Tucson recently passed a hate crime ordinance that beefs up laws locally.

Jaeger, one of the panelists said, while these laws and ordinances represent an important step, it's really up to the community to take a proactive stance. 

"It's on us to say actually, this wont fly here in Tucson. If you do that stuff, we're going to find you and punish you. We're not going to let this happen. So it's not that I think there's some missing law we need to pass. I think it's on us as a community to say so every bigot in the room can hear it, not here. Not in this city," Jaeger said. 

He also believes the support from the community after the bomb threats and the vandalism shows there is a desire for change in Tucson.

"When there was a bomb threat at the JCC, the Muslim community really came out in support for Jews and said we're with you. And when the vandalism occurred at the Islamic Center, Jews raised $15,000. It's really clear to me at least that not only is this a problem right now but that there is really an appetite to do something about it," Jaeger said. 

The forum took place at the Dunbar Auditorium at 325 West 2nd Street from 6 pm to 8 pm. 

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