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Community members gather on USS Midway to rally against hate

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SAN DIEGO — Members of all faiths gathered on the USS Midway Monday evening to rally against hate crimes following the Chabad of Poway shooting. 

More than 75 community members attended the discussion in hopes that open dialogue will help them heal. 

Organizers hope this series of talks can help stop the spread of hate crimes and violence in San Diego County.

Smiles and laughter opened the door to a much more difficult and intimate conversation.

“There’s a lot of division among people and it creates a lot of anger and hostility,” said attendee Starlene Dahl.

Attendees are worried about recent acts of hate and violence in San Diego County, including the arson attack on an Escondido mosque and the deadly shooting at Chabad of Poway earlier this year. 

“We become like numb,” says Mikiel Toure with the National Conflict Resolution Center.

”It’s like, 'oh, here we go again‘ and kind of go to the next thing, to our job and to our family, but it’s still a real thing.”

But these attendees were having real conversations, beyond what one usually talks about with strangers.

“I think there has to be an agreement among people to agree, to disagree with each other,” Dahl said. “If you’re around people where there a lot of disagreements, just decide that you’re going to set that aside for the time being.”

Members of all faiths, races and walks of life learned techniques on how to relate to each other and focus on what brings them together instead of what tears them apart.

“It’s amazing. I’ve never been heard like this before, never been supported like this before," Toure said.

FOX 5 also learned Monday that a lawyer for one of the Chabad of Poway victims will be holding a news conference Tuesday regarding a new lawsuit being filed after the shooting.

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