Over 10,000 participate in #UnityChainCharleston

Holy City Helicopter

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UPDATE:
4:39AM
Anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 people gathered to join hands on the Ravenel Bridge for the Bridge to Peace Unity event on Sunday night. The event was meant to show support to those affected by the Charleston Church Shooting. Locals, community members and people from across the country stretched the length of the bridge to show the world Charleston is Strong.

Future Late Show host and Charleston native, Stephen Colbert was among the people on the bridge. He tweeted a video of the walk on the bridge and the sun setting as people came together for one purpose… to promote “Peace and love and unity in the Holy City,” as Colbert said.

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News Release – Communities all over the tri-county area will come together this Sunday at dusk on the pedestrian walk of the Ravenel Bridge in an effort to stand together hand in hand to send a message that HATE crimes will not be tolerated here or anywhere.

“Hate is taught, you are not born with it. I think it is important to teach our children unity, love and respect,” says Darcy Creaturo, event organizer.

The “Unity Chain” will span from Mt. Pleasant to downtown Charleston. The goal is to have 3,000 or more people from all race and ethnic backgrounds stand hand in hand across the bridge to show solidarity and support for those who senselessly died Wednesday night at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Organizers of the event say the chain will start on the Mt. Pleasant side of the bridge at 7:45 p.m. and will continue along the pedestrian lane. Any participants in this event have been asked by safety officials to not congregate as a group, lean on the fence, or walk in the bike lane.

There are three pickup and drop-off locations in Charleston as well as Mt. Pleasant where people can take CARTA shuttles to join in the Bridge to Peace event this afternoon.

The Charleston locations are at:

  • Mary St. at the Visitors’ Center Parking Garage
  • 995 Morrison Dr. on the Conroy St. side
  • Intersection of Patriots Point Rd. and Coleman Blvd.

The Mt. Pleasant locations are at:

  •  Visitors’ Center at Waterfront Park
  •  CARTA bus stop on Houston Northcutt Blvd.
  • Intersection of Patriots Point Rd. and Coleman Blvd.

The service will run every 15 minutes from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Former Mt. Pleasant Mayor Cheryll Woods-Flowers is a supporter of the event saying, “The entire Charleston area is united in support for members of Mother Emanuel AME Church and shares in the grief of her families. We are one in our strength, pride and in our love.”

“As a mom I can’t stand the thought of my kids growing up in a world with this kind of violence, hatred and fear. I refuse to sit back and allow one person to tarnish the love that Charlestonians are capable of and known for. The Bridge of Unity….this is who we are,” Lauren Vicars event organizer.

“There is a time when something hits you so hard, so close to home that you are impacted to make a statement, that time has come for me. This tragedy happened too close to home. When it comes this close, it forces you to stop saying “that would never happen here”…it’s happening. Hate and violence is here. We need to make it stop. I can’t think of anything more powerful than having people, total strangers stand shoulder to shoulder hand in hand from one side of the bridge to the other,” says Dorsey Fairbairn, event organizer.
We would love the participation of both the Mt. Pleasant and Charleston communities. We will be start on the Mt. Pleasant side of the bridge at 7:45PM and will walk in the pedestrian lane to span over the bridge. We have been asked by safety officials that we do not congregate as a group, that we not lean on the fence and we not walk in the bike lane.

The goal is to have 3,000 people span the bridge holding hands at approximately 8PM in solidarity for peace and love. #unitychaincharleston

For more information visit our FB Event: Bridge to Peace – Unity Chain for Emanuel AME Church

Update: As of 4:30 p.m. the Facebook page shows at least 8200 people who are planning to attend the event.

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