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Local religious leaders representing a variety of faiths will take part in the “Rally for Unity” in downtown Warrenton Saturday.

The event is intended to be a show of support for immigrants and others impacted by President Trump’s executive order barring citizens from seven mostly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

“Even if you don’t know somebody who’s being affected, they’re still our brothers and sisters all over the world,” said Scott Christian, an organizer of the rally. “Our hearts bleed for them.”

The event is an opportunity for Warrentonians to “stand in solidarity” against to policies that shut out refugees and lawful immigrants and to “stay engaged,” Christian said.

The rally will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in front of the John Barton Payne building and the Fauquier Bank, across Juvenile Courthouse building.

Christian is president of the Northern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, which is sponsoring the event.

“Join in celebrating America as a land of immigrants -- a country made stronger by our diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds and shared democratic values,” said a Facebook page publicizing the event. “Help us re-affirm the immortal words on the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…’”

Those expected to speak at the rally include:

  • Hussein Rashwan, a Muslim American originally from Egypt who is now a citizen and businessman living with his family in Winchester.
  • The Rev. James R. Kelly, pastor of Silver Hill Baptist Church, in Bealeton and president of the Fauquier County NAACP.
  • Rabbi Rose Jacob, a self-described “free-range rabbi” in a five-county area.
  • The Rev. Russ Savage, pastor of the Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge, in Sperryville, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley in Stephens City.
  • John Ragosta, a fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and a visiting assistant professor of history at Randolph College.
  • Brooksie Wells, a local singer/songwriter, will also attend. Wells grew up in the South with parents who fought for civil rights and the Equal Rights Amendment. Her last album, Down Home Divas, went to No. 2 on the Roots Americana Charts. Her new album, Nort East Rising Sun, marks a return to her folk roots, according to a press release about the event.

Contact Jill Palermo at

(14) comments


Just as predicted. A Trump bashing fest. They are for unity only if you agree with them.


Some of you people are patently ridiculous. From 2005 to 2015, 94 people in the US were killed by jihadists, while nearly 400,000 people died in traffic fatalities. Yet you're flipping your lid over the threat of terrorism. You're 4000 times more likely to be killed in a car crash, but I don't see you ranting and raving about how we need to change cars and roads to keep Americans safer.

And a "hidden" agenda? Alinsky never had a hidden agenda. What horrible thing do you have evidence of Alinsky perpetrating aside from helping poor and black people in Chicago fight for reasonable housing prices and civil rights?


Nice of you to build a strawman by switching topics to car crashes from terrorism and illegal aliens. Alinsky is the godfather of anarchy. His followers are determined to destroy our constitutional republic. Your blatant falsehoods that you expect people to believe make you the patently ridiculous one.


"Godfather of Anarchy"... so you disavow the Rules for Conservative Radicals written by Michael Patrick Leahy where "the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter, and one of the early leaders of the Tea Party Movement, offers sixteen rules for conservative radicals based on lessons from Saul Alinsky"? Clearly he was such a horrible person that no conservative would have anything to do with him or his methods.

And I bring up car crashes simply to demonstrate how you have no concern what-so-ever for actual pragmatic concerns but simply to create phantoms and bogeymans wholecloth from your twisted imagination, not from any real or reasonable threat to yourself or to America. You don't care about the suffering of hundreds of thousands of US citizens, you care about the perceived endangerment that never actually comes to be in the real world we live in.


Yes, I do disavow Michael Patrick Leahy.
And if you think the dangers we face are perceived phantoms and bogeymen then you are the one that has a twisted imagination.
Of course, you could just check on all the attacks by Muslims on US citizens around the world, including the US, and you might realize it's a real danger.
But that wouldn't fit your leftist agenda so you'll continue to lie.
By the way, why don't you protest all the Moslem countries that don't allow Muslims, Christians or Jews to enter? To easy to attack the USA when you didn't get your way in the election.


Don't let the lefties take over Warrenton. Show up a disagree with them. This will be nothing more than a Trump (and supporters) bashing event. Look at the speaker lineup. This will be looney tunes with the strong scent of "grass" in the air.


Show up *and* disagree with them.

Tell It Like It Is

I say Trump supporters should show up and in full force too !!


Looking forward to this event and the opportunity to demontrate opposition to 45's agenda.


I just decided to Google the 'Virginia Interfaith Center'. Sounds like rainbows and butterflies does it not?

I wonder if the Fauquier Times even spent the 30 seconds it took me to go to the site and see what this 'Organization' actually is? Editors, come on wake up!

I will let anybody else draw their own conclusions, but this is TRULY going to be a Trump bashing ceremony tonight.



Does the media, even the local media even realize that changing words around might attract some but in reality it simply invalidates all of the media no matter how large or small? This is a 'Rally for Religious Freedom', and also a 'Rally for Unity'. It is going to be a Trump bashing rally no matter what code words Fauquier Times puts behind it.


OMG really, a different article is calling this a 'Rally for Unity'? I just posted this on the other article that said it was a 'Rally for Religious Freedom'. Hmmmmmn.

I am wondering where the disconnect is between 'Religious Freedom' and the truth that this is a Trump bashing rally. I will be there so I will see first hand what it actually is so I can respond to the news organization, Fauquier Times, that it is either doing a 'Bait and switch' or if this is really about 'Religious Freedom'.


I'm extremely concerned with the roots of this organization. A very quick search of showed Kim Bobo as the principle offier of this group since 2016. A google search of Kim Bobo shows she is also the Ex Dir of Interfaith Worker Justice out of Chicago, which she founded. Another search on what Interfaith Worker Justice is brings up this:
Sort of scary seeing Alinsky refered to here.Beware of being used to pad the attendance numbers of an agenda you might not agree with. My suggestion would be if you choose to attend and if it is what you believe, bring signs saying “ We welcome ALL LEGAL immigrants, extensively vetted, who come to embrace our country's laws, culture, and values as described in our founding documents".


Sounds like a hidden agenda. Time to secure our borders now. Should we open our borders to all refugees like France & Germany so that refugee terrorists can continue their killing spree in the name of Allah? Those that don't agree with this rally's hiden agenda should show up tomorrow # noon.

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