MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group in Stillwater spent part of their Fourth of July showing support for a woman who says she was harassed there.
Dozens rallied at Lowell Park in response to an apparent Islamophobic incident that happened in downtown Stillwater last week.
The rally, put on by community members and the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was to show their support for Sophia Rashid, who says she was harassed by a White supremacist motorcycle club called the Aryan Cowboy at a Stillwater restaurant last week.
Rashid posted photos of club members on Facebook, saying they harassed her and her 4-year-old daughter to a point where she questioned her safety.
Marita Metcalf helped organize this rally.
“I was in shock, having children that are of color, and so I told my children not to come down to Stillwater unless they were with me or their father,” Metcalf said.
She was impressed by how many people came out to show support on a holiday, and in extreme heat, so she made sure to keep participants safe.
“We had many places that donated water, so we’ve got water and ice, and then we also have the medic tent that we have here,” Metcalf said.
Many young people showed up to share their voice. For Sindra Nichols, it was her first experience with activism.
“It was important for me to do this on a holiday that is supposed to represent America, and I wanted to shed more light on what America really should be about,” Nichols said.
Stillwater police are investigating the situation, and Mayor Ted Kozlowski has reached out to Gov. Tim Walz’s office about the incident.
Kozlowski says patrols will increase in town throughout the summer.