One of New York's most recognisable landmarks filled with people uniting against racism today.
“We are here today to stand united against Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia,” one New Yorker told 1 NEWS reporter Rebecca Wright.
They swarmed into Times Square, standing in solidarity with New Zealand in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shooting.
“I want to send my condolences to all my brothers and sisters in New Zealand, and to all the New Zealand people - Muslims and non-Muslims,” said organiser Raja Abdulhaq. “Because we see how all of them stood together against hate. How all of them united against bigotry.”
Their message one of support - and that racism and white supremacy cannot be allowed to thrive.
“We want to stand together as communities against that kind of hatred everywhere,” said one attendee.
“We can’t allow this to happen - doesn't matter where it is - whether it is in New York, or Timbuktu, or New Zealand. It’s not acceptable.”
Race-based hate crimes are on the rise in the US, particularly by white supremacists. And many people think they feel emboldened right now because of the polarised political environment.
“It [Islamophobia] is real, and it is on the rise – unfortunately,” said a woman at the rally.
Incidents of hate crimes have been seen in Charlottesville, where the Unite the Right rally turned deadly in 2017, and in Pittsburgh, at the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in 2018.
But many American’s also see hope in how New Zealand has come together in the aftermath of this tragedy, and in the leadership shown by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“She showed dignity to these humans and the victims and I think that's essential to what we do,” said Mr Abdulhaq.
The Prime Minister’s visible signs of caring stuck a cord with one New York woman.
“I mean she wore the hijab, she was there - she hugged the people, and you could see the love and honesty in her presentation. She's genuine and we love her, and we want her to know that.”