An event called Hands Around Capitol Lake will be held Wednesday in downtown Olympia as part of an effort to promote peace in the wake of a divisive presidential election.
Organizers say the event will be modeled after Hands Around Green Lake in Seattle, which attracted an estimated 4,000 people last weekend to denounce racism, homophobia, misogyny and Islamophobia. Many people at the Saturday gathering expressed their concerns about President-elect Donald Trump and his polarizing rhetoric.
Olympia resident Heather Moore said about 2,000 people are needed to make a complete 1.55-mile loop around Capitol Lake. About 1,000 people are planning to attend so far, she said.
A group called Stronger Together Thurston County — which formed after the Nov. 8 presidential election — is organizing the Olympia event and will collect donations of warm winter clothing for local shelters, she said.
“It absolutely goes beyond the political,” Moore told The Olympian on Monday, adding that the event is not an anti-Trump rally. “The idea is to bring people together and inspire peace, love and solidarity in our community.”
The public is invited to participate in Wednesday’s event. Participants should arrive between noon and 12:30 p.m. to find parking and join the circle, according to organizers. At 1 p.m., participants will join hands for 15 minutes of silent reflection.
“We are looking to bring the community together to head into the long weekend with a strong show of support and love and kindness for everyone who needs our support at this time,” said co-organizer Jessi Goodman.
She said Stronger Together Thurston County met for the first time last week and will be planning more events.