Photo by Keith Talarigo.

Roughly 50 people gathered in Reading’s City Park Saturday morning to protest Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Reading.

The event, titled “White Supremacy Doesn’t Belong Here”, was organized by three local activists groups, Make the Road Action in PA, Sunrise Pennsylvania, and Berks Stands Up, to “call out Pence and President Trump’s racism and callous disregard for their community.”

Meeting at 10am at the bandshell, organizers spoke briefly before creating a caravan of cars to travel to the airport to stage their protest.

“We are here today because we reject the failed Trump/Pence agenda,” said Patty Torres, Organizing Director with Make The Road Action in PA.

“Because of their failures, our Black and brown communities have been hit disproportionately hard by the coronavirus pandemic. We know first-hand the terrible impact of their racist, authoritarian policies, and we have had enough. How dare they come here and ask for our votes when their failures have killed our family members, our friends, and our coworkers?” said Torres.

Make the Road Action in PA, Sunrise Berks and Berks Stands Up represent thousands of Berks County residents, claiming to have contacted more than 100,000 voters to educate them about the election and ensure they vote.

In addition to electoral work, the groups champion multiple issues including economic security and raising the minimum wage, Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, housing security, and racial and immigration justice.

All are also members of the Shut Down Berks Coalition, which seeks to close the Berks County Detention Center, and has resisted the anti-immigrant policies of the Trump/Pence administration.

“Our groups may represent different constituencies, but no matter our color or where we come from, we all want a good life for our families and friends: good paying jobs, quality schools for our kids, and care to keep us healthy,” said Berks Stands Up director Jane Palmer.

“But greedy politicians like Trump and Pence exploit our differences and try to divide us and distract us. Now, after abusing the office of the presidency for nearly four
 years to enrich himself and his friends at our expense, Trump is trying to cheat his
 way through an election he knows he’s losing.”

“There is nothing Trump or Pence can do to stop us from coming together as voters,” said Palmer.

“This November, we’re going to vote them out and replace them with candidates who will better represent us, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. And then we’ll make sure they do.”