Several hundred people, many of them families with young children, marched peacefully for about an hour Friday evening in downtown Collingswood. Organizers said they wanted to provide people who were concerned and upset about the election of Donald Trump as president with an opportunity to express their feelings in a constructive way.
The event was held by a new organization called South Jersey Women for Progressive Change.
"We want this march to be compassionate and kind," said Amanda Cohen, 42, who founded the group on Facebook on Wednesday morning, just after Trump's election.
Cohen, a hospital administrator and Collingswood mother of two who organized Friday's march, said the Facebook group already has 1,600 members.
Borough officials and police cooperated to facilitate the march, which stepped off at Harvard and Haddon Avenues at precisely 7 p.m. and concluded about an hour later.
With police cars in the front and back, the marchers - many carrying candles or signs with messages such as "Love Trumps Hate" - headed southeast on Haddon to Cuthbert Boulevard and back into the center of the borough on West Atlantic Avenue.
The atmosphere was low-key but festive. Samantha Martinez, a Collingswood resident and Rutgers-Camden graduate student in social work, brought along her children, Josie, 8, and Max, 11.
The three carried hand-lettered signs with inspirational statements by luminaries such as Elie Weisel.
"I want my children to know there is still a way to live under a Trump presidency and have changes that are positive," Martinez said.
"We have to make noise," said Doug Siebert, a 64-year-old construction manager who held up a sign that read, "No Hate."
Samantha Thomas, 32, an archivist at NFL Films, carried a candle as the marchers gathered at Haddon and Harvard.
"This march is more to unite the hurt, lost, and lonely than a protest against the president-elect," she said as parents with kids in strollers and teenagers with homemade signs ("Love," "Peace Not Racism") stood three and four deep on the sidewalks waiting for the march to begin.
"Seeing this, I'm more proud to be an American than I have been for the last few days," said Bill Filinuk, 51.
An orthopedic technician, he stood on the front porch of his home on the 900 block of Haddon, and waved the Stars and Stripes and a rainbow flag as the protesters strolled by.