Monday, January 16, 2012

Vets for Peace counter hate at home

On the holiday celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it seems appropriate to highlight citizens of the United States standing up for our better natures. Here's a story from Lowell, Massachusetts reported by MSNBC.

A group of veterans held an “eat-in” at an immigrant-owned restaurant to show support for the eatery after a man threw a 20-pound building stone through the front window, frightening the family and raising fears that they were the target of a hate crime.

Some 40 to 50 vets -- from World War II, Vietnam, the Korean war and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq -- turned up at the Babylon Restaurant in downtown Lowell, Mass., on Tuesday night.

The Al-Zubaydi family, who came to the U.S. in October 2010 from Uzbekistan, opened Babylon about seven months ago. Like other immigrants, they were simply trying to make their way in their new American home, said Patrick Scanlon, a Vietnam veteran and local coordinator of Veterans for Peace.

…About 50 Iraqi families live in Lowell, said Scanlon. He noted other attacks on Iraqis, including a man who had two rocks thrown through his windows and a woman wearing a head covering being called "terrorist" by a man as she walked home from a supermarket.

…Leyla Al-Zubaydi said the family also doesn't believe it was a random attack. She said the family was trying to recover after such a scary episode, but the outpouring of support from the veterans renewed their confidence in the local community.

Read the whole thing.

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