Kennewick High student organizes rally in response to recent hate crime

Nate Riel sitting down for the interview.

PASCO, Wash. — An LGBTQ+ demonstration is happening Saturday in response to the assault of two gay men in Pasco before the holidays.

Nate Riel, a Kennewick High senior, said he organized the demonstration to bring people together. He emphasized that the event is not a protest but a way to show the Tri-Cities that despite the assault and other hate crimes, the LGBTQ+ community is still proud to be themselves.

“It was important to me that the rest of the Tri-Cities community was able to see that our gay community would not back down from attacks like these,” Riel said.

Originally, Riel said he thought the rally would just be him and a fews friends. But as of Friday evening, its Facebook event page has 209 people interested in going.

“It’s blown up all over like this whole Mid-Columbia plateau,” Riel said, “I was not expecting that.”

The slogan for the event is “Hate Has No Home Here,” and people have even started making signs and sharing them to the Facebook event page.

The demonstration is from noon to 2 p.m. at the site of the assault, the corner of Fourth and Court St. Police have been notified of the event and will be present.