Unity Vigil & March photos and stories

The evening began with a prayer vigil at First Church UCC Phoenix, attended by more than 500 people.

Prayer Vigil at First Church UCC Phoenix (image credit: First Church UCC Phoenix)

Rev. John Dorhauer spoke (video by Nikki Norris) as well as Rabbi-Shmuly Yanklowitz, among others.

Participants then marched to St. Mary's Basilica Courtyard, escorted by police, with a route to keep protesters away from supporters. The courtyard was a Safe Sanctuary Zone, where the group staffed a station with water, first aid, and pastoral care.


Protest buddies, Rev. Delle McCormick and Rev. Randy Meyer

'After last night in Phoenix I know better the meaning behind "When Jesus saw the crowds his heart broke." (Mt. 9:36) But it was from his broken heart that his passion for and commitment to peace with justice grew.' - Rev. Delle McCormick

Rev. Barb Doerrer-Peacock and Rev. Rich Doerrer-Peacock

"Powerful speakers, inspirational words at the prayer service at First UCC! Proud of our Church and all the leaders of many faiths participating!"

Stephen Schermitzler and Raylah Pillar: 

"Let it be known that the protest was peaceful and loving. Let it be known that people brought water and ice for total strangers to keep them hydrated. Let it be known that people were hugging one another. Let it be known that people were chanting about acceptance and against hatred. Let it be known that people wanted a peaceful protest. A few morons ruined it (and that's horrible) but let it be known that it was a protest for good."

image credit: Kori Joseph



Small groups of angry protesters and anarchists disrupted a mostly peaceful protest. The march to the Capitol had to be canceled due to a conflict ending with police dispersing protesters with pepper spray, tear gas, and concussion grenades, after a few protesters threw water bottles at the police.

From Rev. Lyons' video of the incident.

Rev. Bill Lyons experienced a canister of pepper smoke firsthand; see his video. “Police continued to deploy chemical munitions against a crowd that was chanting, ‘Peaceful protest! Peaceful protest!’ while holding their hands in the air. I know because I was there. I was gassed. My video and I bear witness to what happened Tuesday night.”  Read his story HERE.

In the words of First Church Phoenix: Thank you for your joining us for an incredible vigil and march downtown! We made our presence known.