Pastors protest Reawaken America Tour in Batavia

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BATAVIA, N.Y. (WHEC) – After the cancellation of the Reawaken America Tour at the Main Street Armory, the event found a new location, Cornerstone Church in Batavia. Local pastors held a protest at Batavia City Centre on Saturday because in 1924 the Ku Klux Klan threatened to march down Main Street, drawing parallels to the upcoming event.

Those pastors plan to meet with leaders at the church to try and change their minds about holding the controversial event.

"Look at their track record, go and look at the speeches, listen to what they’re saying in these events and you’ll know. We’re not accusing anybody of being hateful, we’re just listening to their words, listening to how they are speaking, how they are expressing themselves,” said Rev. Dr. Roula Alkouri of Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

Last week people protested the tour in front of the church.

The tour is scheduled to be in Batavia on August 11th and 12th.

Protesters were in front of Cornerstone Church in Batavia, as members arrived for Sunday morning church. The protest was in response to the recent decision to host the "Reawaken America" tour there.

The controversial conservative event was previously scheduled to take place at the Main Street Armory in Rochester before the owner pulled the show from the schedule due to backlash.

Organizers of the Cornerstone Church protest said hate has no place here.

When News10NBC asked Pastor Paul Doyle what he thought of the protests he said that they were aware of it, but it was a normal day and they had a good church service.

“We respect the right to protest, but support for the event has been national and overwhelming. We are looking forward to it,” Doyle said.

He cited the church’s community outreach programs, including assisting at the Buffalo shooting, and in black communities, and said that members of their congregation and clergy were black, and they were not white supremacists.

Doyle said he felt that the protests were skewed and overblown and that they are “Christian Patriots, whose voices should not be silenced. No voices should be silenced.”